Saturday, 23 September 2017
Well, they came yesterday and took it back out. And the plasterer has plastered the wall. Just the wall with the opening, not the whole chimney breast as promised. There's plaster dust and drips everywhere. *sighs* I'm not complaining again as it's going to drag on even longer. So I'm just getting on with it now. The wall will be dry enough to paint in 5 days. I've painted inside the opening and it looks ok. Once the stove is back in it'll look better. I still had 2 x 2.5 litre pots of unopened paint leftover from my old house (Dulux Natural Calico) so used that. I think I'll do the whole room that colour and save some money at the same time.
It's been a long week at school as I've got the first nasty virus of the new session. It started with a painful sore throat, on the day I had an observed lesson! I croaked my way through and got good feedback. Phew! Now it's settled into a full blown cold with a deep chesty cough. I've been dosing myself with cold and flu tablets, Benylin cough mixture, throat lozenges plus all my usual natural tricks. Hopefully it will pass soon. Especially as I'm off diet and drinking tons of honey and lemon!
Sunday, 17 September 2017
No weight loss this week but I'm happy I haven't gained as I had a work night out on Friday. I did save up my points to compensate but I'm still recovering from 3 glasses of wine with tapas. The restaurant was very good at labeling the gluten free dishes although I had to work out if there was dairy in them. Obviously I didn't work out everything! Ah well.
Just out of curiousity I was looking at some of the info out there that's supposed to help you with weight loss. I did the NHS healthy weight calculator and it told me I was overweight for my age, height and activity level. Quelle surprise!!
But I found it interesting that it suggests I lose 15kg just to be in the middle of my healthy weight range. Eeeek!!
I've been watching the BBC's 'How to stay young' programme and did their How are you aging? test. I answered the questions honestly. Apparently I have the fitness level of a 20 year old!!
So I'm overweight and need to lose 15kg to be healthy but my lifestyle suggests I have the fitness of a 20 yo! Who to believe??
I'm interpreting it as I'm making sensible lifestyle choices but need to lose a bit weight. Common sense really!
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Well, the stove and hearth have been installed but I'm not happy with it. The opening has been rendered with a rough render that can be left as it is or painted. I had originally said I would paint it but for some reason they don't allow any time for the painting before installing the actual stove. Apparently you just 'paint round it once it's dry.' I did not know that. I don't want to do that as I don't think the finish will look good. Plus the application of the rough render is looking rather slapdash. After a very 'robust' telephone conversation and a visit in person to the showroom (where I had to use my teacher voice) 😀 they are returning this week to remove the stove so I can paint the opening.
They also left a big hole in the chimney breast as my chimney isn't straight and it narrows to one side. They had to knock out a hole to guide the liner in. Luckily the whole wall is being replastered but I'm not too impressed with this company's work or their customer service skills. And they weren't happy when I told them that!! But as I pointed out I'm paying them a large amount of my money for a 'quality product and service' (their words!!) and so far I'm not getting that. Fingers crossed it goes better this week!
Progress is slow but at least it's progress!
Monday, 11 September 2017
When I went back to work after the holidays I resolved to get my weight back down to a sensible level. As I'm getting older it's getting harder to stay at a constant weight. And a whole summer of little exercise thanks to my ankle injury and cider drinking in Cornwall meant it crept up again 😔
But as of yesterday I've now lost 3.2kg/7lbs!!! 🙌🙌🙌
I'm using WeightWatchers, exercising more and not eating after 7pm at night. Seems to be working so far but it is very hard. My first target is to lose 10kg by Christmas so I'm a third of the way there already 😎
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Time flies when you're enjoying yourself, apparently. It's now September and we're 3 weeks into the school term. Unbelievably it's only 4 weeks until half term!! So far my new class is ok, only one specific behaviour issue. I only have 24 kids which really makes a difference in terms of class management. My non contact afternoon is a Tuesday which happens to be the time when the whole school does community groups so I don't have a group to lead this year. I like to think of it as my reward for teaching last year's class!! Several colleagues have commented on how I look more relaxed this term. And my headteacher told me I'm very organised at my planning meeting! 😎
The weather hasn't been great here, very autumnal. I switched my heating back on last weekend. Luckily yesterday was decent enough to get my back garden tidied up. I emptied more potato pots. The pic above is the result of 10 Maris Piper tubers. Not great. And they fell to bits when cooked .
I rounded up and emptied all the pots then gave them a good wash. They're already for winter storage now.
I cleared the polytunnel of the remaining tomato plants. I had 18 and not one of them produced a single tomato. The last ones I removed yesterday did have some flowers but it's way too late in the season for them to produce any tomatoes now so I pulled them out. Very satisfying. I filled up the grobags with the spent compost from the pots and will add some feed to them. I'm going to try planting a few winter crops and some herbs to see if they'll survive.
We've also been doing some work on the outside of the house. The exposed bricks and the mortar between them are a bit crumbly. A lot of the houses round me have just painted them so we decided to go down that route rather than getting a builder to re point/replace. I spent £40 on 2 tins of Sandtex paint that will seal and protect them. OH has used a full tin already on the side (he'll do the wee bit on the front when the weather is dry enough again!!)
The colour is Plymouth Grey but it doesn't look grey on my wall. But it'll do, it looks much better already with just the first coat. And it'll save me the cost of getting a builder.
September is always the time when I reflect on the changes in my life in recent years. 7 years ago my marriage fell apart. 4 years ago I moved into this house. Life doesn't always work out the way you thought or planned. Getting back up is hard, really hard. But when I look at what I have now I wouldn't change anything that happened.
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Well, the excitement of getting my woodburner installed has well and truly worn off. This is what it looks like at the moment. I have to wait a few more weeks before the next stage. Removing the stone fireplace and knocking out a larger opening created a huge mess of dust throughout the whole house 😞 I did get an apology for the mess but that doesn't undo it. A larger area of the walls will need replastered than originally thought.
Then I found out my chimney failed the smoke test so it needs to be lined (this is a legal requirement) at an extra cost of £775 😢 So the original verbal quote of around £2000 has gradually crept up and now stands at just over £4000. That's just for the woodburner. I need a new carpet and obviously will need to repaint. I have savings that were earmarked for other projects that will need to wait until next year.
Ah well, everything will work out in the end. I hope.
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Spicy seafood pasta
I go back to work tomorrow, it's been a quick summer!! But I'm ready and looking forward to the challenge of a smaller class with fewer behaviour issues. Last week I tried to plan ahead and get myself organised to hit the ground running. I've been trying out a few new healthy recipes as I need to get back on the weight loss.
Baked tofu with rice noodles and veggies
Thanks to my ankle injury I've not been exercising as much and eating/snacking more cos I've been on holiday. It's much improved so I can increase my exercise levels again.
Sugar free jelly and fruit
So I'm starting back on the WeightWatchers plan tomorrow *sighs* I've counted out 20 weeks until the Christmas holiday and have a target of 10kg (22lbs or 1 and 1/2 stone) *double sigh* I've been batch cooking and have filled my freezer with meals with the SmartPoints (SP) calculated. I've worked out that I fall down on not having a plan so have spent time on making a plan.
I made a batch of curry paste so I can whip up a quick healthy curry with chicken and veggies. Ideas for using the paste can be found on my old blog HERE. Each of these portions is 1 SP.
I bought some WeightWatchers grated cheese (I've been trying very small amounts of cheddar and haven't had a reaction) and portioned it into 1 SP amounts. I can add it to flavour pasta, warps or potatoes
I made a healthy lasagne with turkey mince, tons of veg and GF pasta with this white sauce and divided it into 4 portions. I made a fajita mix of chicken and veggies ready to add to wraps. I made soup and a portion of chicken and rice to stir fry. All frozen, labelled and SP counted.
I made a batch of pancakes for snacks/breakfasts 😋
I bought a box of miso soup sachets. Low in calories/SP but high in protein so perfect for break time or after school meetings to keep me from snacking.
I've written out my meals and snacks for the week along with my exercise plan (click to enlarge). I'm hoping this will motivate me to stay on track!!
In other news work on installing my woodburner starts this week 😁 In preparation I've cleared my living room and saved the wooden mantlepiece from the fireplace (to re use elsewhere!) I'm really excited as I've saved and waited for nearly 4 years to decorate my living room. I'm aiming to be finished for Christmas. This includes painting, making curtains (you can see the fabric in the white sauce link!!) fitting a new carpet and repurposing some furniture. I'm going to be busy!