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Friday, 6 May 2022

April in Review: A Trip to Devon, A New Baby and More

 All the fun of the fair for London blogger Is This Mutton in April

Fri 1 April

Day off. Had hair done. Watched first episode Slow Horses (read my review)

Sat 2 April

Walk, 6 miles. Forgot to wear Fitbit. V cold. Went to a party for granddaughter Rosie's third birthday party, held in a coffee bar.  Three little friends from nursery came. Watched 1st episode Hacks.

A birthday party for three year olds, a social event this April for London blogger Is This Mutton

 Sun Apr 3

Cold, sunny intervals.  Did a photoshoot of 4 outfits based on a red cardigan.  Roast lamb for lunch. 

Mon April 4

Dreary and cold. J dropped one of his bikes off in Chelmsford for repairs. He cleaned my car. I got petrol and  a few groceries. J will be fending for himself (and Molly) for a few days, while I go down to Devon to see my Mum.

Tues April 6

Did early walk. Overcast. Attended a severance session  (we are in the 45 day consultation period at work; everyone in marketing is at risk of redundancy).  Left home at 11.30 to go to Plymouth.  Got there 4.30pm. Took a Simnel cake from Fortnum & Mason and we had a slice - delicious.

Weds April 7

Raining, windy. Went to one of our favourite places, Buckfast Abbey, for lunch. Had a yummy pasty from Crunch of Devon  (I consider myself a bit of a pasty conoisseur). We always light a candle for my brother. 

Back in London,  EV charger was being installed in the porch. The car was ordered last August but there is still no delivery date. 

Thurs April 8 

Did walk and saw Michael's grave. He was a baby who died in 1944. Flowers are still placed there. Also saw ribbons for Ukraine wrapped around a road sign. 

Took Mum to Otter garden centre.  I bought a heuchera and tiarella plus nerine bulbs. She bought a couple of roses and dianthus. We had a real laugh at one of her Malapropisms - "It's all water off a duck's bridge."

Fri April 9 

Raining am. Took mum for 4th jab after I booked it with a local pharmacy.  Originally, she was offered locations which were drop-in only, and difficult to get to without a car.  

While she was being jabbed I rummaged in two charity shops and got a green top originally from Banana Republic.  Then we went into town. Had lunch M&S, avocado on sourdough.  Got some earrings.  Started to pour with rain as we walked to bus stop. When we got back, I spent some time scanning some old photos.

Sat April 10th

Sunny start for my journey home.  Left 9.50, home 3.50. J was picking up another of his bikes. Couple of deliveries waiting, handbag and vitamins. Clematis Montana Rubens (x3) in bud and will soon burst into flower. Spurs on so watched The Split on tablet. 

Sun April 11

Lovely day, warm and sunny. Did walk, saw longhorns on Plains.  Did shopping at Tesco and M&S. Grand Prix was 6am, Lewis 4th. Roast beef.

Mon April 12

Did a workout.  Back to work  (from home). Lovely day, bit windy,  washing dried fast outside.  Was planning to go to Cambridge tomorrow as our account director from the ad agency in New York was going to be in, but she has Covid and and there's another petrol shortage

Tues April 12 

Walk, no cows. They move around so often I don't see them for days. Warm enough to take jacket off. Bumped into J who was running.  Quite busy work-wise. Had forgotten to take pics or write a blog post for tomorrow.  Managed to whip one up using prompt 10 on the 10th. Started The Gloaming.

Weds April 13

Planned workout but had meeting on which redundancy pool I'm in. Then got caught up in work.

Thurs April 14

Beautiful day. Walk, Yates, saw cows.  Google tells me my blog's "unparsable data issues" are resolved.  Phew. Meeting with finance advisor. 

Good Friday April 15

Day off for Good Friday. Beautiful day. Walked to Body Balance.  Haven't done it for a month,  legs aching afterwards! Did some gardening. 

Saturday April 16

Cloudy then sun came out. Bagged up more winter clothes to go in the attic.  Scheduled tweets. Went to garden centre and got a lupin, phlox, scabious and two dianthus. Then planted everything. Watched film Dune. 5 out of 10.

Easter Sunday April 17

Walk, Connaught Water.  Saw cows, still sitting down. Watched Easter service on TV. Had an Easter egg hunt for Rosie in the garden, then we all went to the Larkshall for lunch. Had roast chicken, huge.  Stayed sunny. 

Easter Monday April 18

Walk, Yates, horse n pony. Weather still quite good. Spent long time weeding rose bed. Watered roses. They will be late this year because I should have pruned them sooner  (did it in Feb). 

Tuesday April 19 

Didn't go into office.  Sold a couple of Kettlewell tops on the FB site.

Weds April 20 

Had a marketing All Hands for the latest on the redundancy situation. No clarity yet on who's going. 

Thurs April 21 

Yoga, not my usual 8.15am class. Tried a later  class, teacher was on holiday so was usual teacher, which was nice. 

Fri April 22 

Aching from yoga. Busy at work sorting out a new messaging look and feel for the big event I campaign manage, Embedded World.  Took some pics of clematis in full bloom.

Sat April 23 

Forced myself to walk, didn't really fancy it. Funfair has arrived (top pic).  Remember how excited I used to get when I was 15. Rejoined Ancestry (14 day trial again) and uploaded old pics from Mum's. Nice to put faces against her grandparents and an uncle. 

Sun April 24

Sunny intervals,  breezy. Took tripod to Larkswood to take pics of bluebells. Roast beef. Got a few containers ready for summer bedding

Mon April 25 

Did a stretch class at the gym. Bit shocked to realise that although my weight has stayed the same, waist measurement is back to what it was pre boot camp in Nov. Need to earn my carbs!!

Tues April 26 

Busy day - had to prepare a slide deck for a senior exec at short notice. Also had 4 hour planning session which used to be a couple of days in a nice location before Covid (Paris, Miami). Did walk pm. The forest seems totally different at a later time - the lighting and atmosphere.

Weds April 27 

New garden post live on blog.  J's daughter R went in labour overnight. Baby Olive born. R had tough time, kept in hospital overnight. No visitors allowed.  

Thurs April 28

Fairly busy today. Those in the pool I'm in for demand gen jobs  (11 people) had a meeting to ask questions which was a bit strange, and muted. Not many questions. Fox has dug up new clematis.  Lovely pics baby. R in hospital until tomorrow. 

Fri April 29

Cloudy, cold. R out of hospital.  J looked after Olive to allow R & S to have short nap. Here's the proud Granddad.

A new baby in the family!

Sat April 30

Likely to be the only sunny day this bank holiday, so got up early, did a 4 mile walk and then went to  Epping & garden centre. Got lots bedding plus 4 auriculas (for first time), and 2 dianthus. Didn't plant any: got distracted dealing with what looks like ears of corn in the flower beds, and weeding the drive. 

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Friday, 1 April 2022

March in Review


March was eagerly anticipated - there were some fun things planned: the Van Gogh exhibition, baby shower, trip to Devon to see Mum....but then Covid struck, affecting me personally; and the threat of redundancy looms large......

Tues March 1

Happy to see March! Had a "helpful" email from Google about how I need to sort out "unparsable structured data issues." Yes, right. Raining. New Kettlewell range online. Ordered a few bits.

Weds March 2

Bit out of sorts,  sore throat. Had a meeting at 9 30 which meant I couldn't go for a walk. Intended to go to the gym later but somehow it didn't happen. Grrr.

Thursday March 3 

Tired and emotional. It's the Ukranian situation and learning that the upcoming IPO means a restructuring at work. Around 30% in marketing will be made redundant.  Did a walk. Donated to Ukraine with work matching. Day ended with us learning our boss has gone. Stunned.

Friday March 4 

Cold. Did Body Balance. First Kettlewell delivery of new season, electric blue moto jacket and acid yellow wrapover top. Anna was doing a #styleitforukraine post so I took a quick picture for IG. Had the 2nd developers' workshop this afternoon. 

Sat Mar 5

So cold and grey I didn't fancy going out. Did housework. Spent afternoon reading.

Sun Mar 6

Sun out at last. Forest walk. Run Nation 10k happening. Roast beef. Wrote 3 blog posts. Daffodils are blooming in the front garden. I've added many different types over the years and enjoy seeing the sequence unfold. 

Mon March 6

Sun came out but v cold. Did walk, 4.4. Yet another delivery of white jeans to try on.

Tues March 7

Sunny, cold. Nice drive to office.  Did a bespoke Getty shoot from 10 to 3pm.

Weds March 8

Did  urban walk, Tesco 1 way. Was tempted to go to office again as there was a reception for former CEO, but no one else in team was going in.

Thur March 9

Bit down today, cancelled yoga thinking I would do a walk or workout,  but no motivation. I would kill Putin with my bare hands.

Fri Mar 10

Quiet day. Set off for gym to do Body Balance but had forgotten lock for locker, so couldn't do it. Quiz at the Orion Harriers in the evening. Ate so much rubbish! 

Sat Mar 11

Eating so many crisps, mini eggs and other rubbish had repercussions: 3 pounds on.  Did long walk. Sunny intervals.  Went in town (London), tried on 3 pairs white jeans, no good. First time I've tried clothes on in a store for a very long time.  

Sun March 12

Lost 2 of the 3 errant pounds thanks to 9.5 miles walked yesterday. Cloudy. Lunch in a Turkish restaurant for Rachel's Baby Shower.  Below: my virgin mohitjo

Mon March 13 

Email about the redundancy process. A long drawn out affair in the UK. We don't know yet who's on the list. Walk, very spring-like. J went to Cheltenham Races for 2 days.  Watched film The Lost Daughter. 3 more pairs of white jeans delivered. Still no good. 

Tues March 14 

Drove to work in Cambridge. Sunny and warm. First email came, which indicates I'm affected in some way. Org change yes, redundancy, still don't know.  Did a walk at lunchtime with a colleague. 

Weds March 15 

Rain turned torrential.  Nazanin Zagary Ratcliffe freed from Iran, where she has been falsely imprisoned since 2016.  Was checking her status all day. Couldn't stop crying when I saw her plane had actually taken off.  J back from Cheltenham.

Thurs March 16

Sunny! Windows, wheelie bins and car covered in red dust from the "Sahara rain."  Unfortunate seeing as the windows were cleaned on Monday. Meeting describing the redundancy process. Did yoga. 

Friday March 17

Spring-like although chilly. Walked to Body Balance.  New routine and quite hard! Every man for himself. Bought fish n chips, first time for ages.

Sat March 18 

Sunny, breezy. Did a walk but aching quite a bit. 1 pair straight white jeans came from M&S and these are good but maybe in a different size. More pairs on way. Salmon. Watched DTS  (Drive to Survive). 

Sun March 19 

Spring equinox.  Wind has dropped.  J tested positive.  A gift from Cheltenham.  We were supposed to be going to the Van Gogh exhibition at the Courtauld followed by lunch on Wednesday, and then I was going to Mum's on Thurs for a few days.  I tested negative. 1st Grand Prix of the season.  Not great for Lewis. 

Mon March 20

Mum overdid it in her garden and in a lot of pain. Did walk, sunny, saw cows. They're very placid and don't mind you getting close. The "cow bells" are their GPS devices. If they stray beyond their confines, they get a mild electric shock.  This is to avoid them crossing the busy main road. They've learnt how close they can get, and then back off. 

Tues March 21 

I'm still negative but feeling like I am coming down with Covid. Reluctantly told my mum it was best if I didn't come down. She agreed. Cancelled my leave. Sunny. Was busy work-wise so didn't get to go out.

Weds March 22

Bit rough.  Coughing.  Sunny. Did walk but cut it short, not much energy.  J still positive. Garden looking good. Forsythia is out, as are hyacinths and daffodils. Took photos of where there are gaps in borders, for when I plant the bulbs later in the year. 

Thurs March 23 

Finally tested positive.  Have avoided Covid for 2 years. Have to change hair appointment. Didn't get promotion, which I'd been pushing hard for. Very disappointed.  Did an hour in garden.

Fri March 24 

Sunny. Day off.  Did Iris Apfel shoot indoors.  Did walk in afternoon in forest, which is so big I posed no threat to anyone. There's a new bench in the forest, dedicated to Polly Corrigan PhD, 1974 to 2019. Saw the cows. 

Sat March 25

Sunny. Not much energy. Stayed in all day. Watched film Black Crab (Swedish). 6 out of 10. 

Sun March 26 

Cloudy all morning. Did short walk with J. Roast chicken.  Grand Prix, Lewis was right at the back. 

Mon March 27

Cold, cloudy. Did work out. Feeling a lot better.  Faint 2nd line in Covid test.  Everyone in marketing had an "at risk of redundancy" meeting in small groups.  No further forward. Marks start of 45 day consultation period. Should know more by next Monday.

Tues March 28

Was going for walk but overcome by tiredness.  Had a bath. Lay on bed reading with Molly. Finished A Terrible Kindness and started Girl A. Finally threw out my old walking boots. They've done good service. Started series 2 of Traces. 

Weds March 30

Cold grey start. Decided not to go for walk. Approached by a handbag co and invited to choose a bag. Get in!  Lots to choose from. Quite busy today. 

Thurs March 31 

Cloudy and cold start. Did short walk in forest. Feeling better, although a bit congested as if I have a cold. J went to see Rosie to give her her birthday presents - she's 3 today.  She was thrilled with the ice cream shop we gave her. We're going to her party on Saturday.

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Tuesday, 1 March 2022

What Happened in February: Is This Mutton

A night out at Sheesh restaurant in Chigwell for Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon

Tues Feb 1

Went to office,  first time since early Dec. Quite a few people in. Cafeteria staff trying new options to encourage people back, walking round with tasters of various smoothies.Forgot to take a mask, but fortunately found a well stocked section near the door.

Weds Feb 2

Did workout.  Blue sky. Busy at work with planning for the new financial year which starts on April 1. Spectacular sunset.

Thurs Feb 3

Walked to yoga, got bus back. Knees a bit creaky today in the class. Some new sportswear came but most being sent back. Sold 2 items of Kettlewell. Finished work at 7pm and J had forgotten to put my quiche in oven, so ate large bag crisps and houmous instead. 

Fri Feb 4

Did Body Balance.  Busy afternoon.  Still shredding - slow process as the shredder is very temperamental. Shredding dozens of old bank statements. Had the quiche salad from yesterday for dinner. 

Sat Feb 5 

Walk with J, saw cows, had a go on a swing in forest. My home team, Plymouth Argyle, played Chelsea in the FA Cup. Shown on TV. My nephew travelled to the match. 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton on a handmade but very well made swing in Epping Forest

Sun Feb 6

Busy day with bonus son, wife and daughter aged nearly 3 coming for lunch. Got a 2 outfit photoshoot done and wrote 40% of blog post.

Roasted 2 chickens, as I never think one will be enough.  Hid some surprises under coffee table for the granddaughter. 

Mon Feb 7

Walk. Saw cows. Lovely sunrise. Started Chloe (BBC) which I stuck with, but was ultimately disappointed by (my review here). 

Tues Feb 8

Office. Big news overnight that the proposed acquisition by a big US company is over. Sole topic of conversation at work! 

Weds Feb 9

Walk. Saw cattle and walked round Connaught Water.   Asos delivery of socks and a couple of sports tops. Hellebores out in the garden. 

Thurs Feb 10

Cold, sun out pm. Walked to yoga. Not too busy at moment, which won't last for long.

Fri Feb 11

Bodybalance. Cold. Fresh n up Fri  (cleaning). 

Sat Feb 12

Walked to Waitrose, 5 miles. Lovely planters over at Buckhurst Hill. Bought a gift card but realised halfway up the steep hill I didn't have it, so had to go back. Fortunately saw it right away. 

Pruned roses, it was sunny but v cold. Two hours to rid the rose bed of weeds at last.  They'll all be back in a few weeks....

Sun Feb 13

Did a guided walk of Fleet St in London with 15 family and friends. Started with breakfast in Caravan restaurant. J was amazed by the photo I sent him showing I had a "full English," but it's very low carb if you don't have beans or fried bread! 

Saw a  10k race going on in central London.  The walk was fascinating, Fleet Street was the home of many of the UK's newspapers a few years go. Rain started at exactly 1pm when the walk finished.

Here's the group photo, I'm in the front on the right, wearing a cream hat, with J's sister to my left.

Mon 14 Feb

Not feeling great. Exhausted and aching. Test negative.  Just rested all day. Resting heart rate is up,  and oxygen saturation 95  (normally 98). Started The Promise, BBC 4. 

Tues 15 Feb

Much better. Did walk. Stats almost back to normal. Rainy day. 

Weds 16 Feb

We have a new CEO and he delivered the quarterly biz update. Our current owners will float us within 12 months. Redundancies were announced, no details yet.  

Thurs 17 Feb

Yoga. Busy day trying to get an ad campaign ready as we have a day off tomorrow,  and teeing up 3 emails. Ordered some Easter goodies from Museum Selections (crackers, garland, cards)

Friday 18 Feb

Day of care.  Red weather warning for Storm Eunice, very rare. Did walk, urban. Not too windy at that time, but did get worse. Our road was a surreal sight of wheelie bins trundling around and falling over.

Saturday 19 Feb

Went to a meet up  of the Colourful Croydon Colour Club,  members of the Kettlewell Colour Club. Was worried no trains would be running but it was fine.  Nine of us. V enjoyable. I was the only Winter. Back by 5.30. Watched last episode The Promise. 

Sunday 20 Feb

Still pretty windy and showery.  Wrote a blog post. Accolade for blog from Feedspot, who provide RSS feeds. They rated me as #3 in the top 10 of bloggers for the over-50s. Yay!

Monday 21 Feb

Did a home workout.  Too wet to walk. Finished Der Pass. Started Fallet, Netflix - spoof of the Nordic noir genre.

Tuesday 22 Feb

Not many in office again. Talk is about the redundancies. No details yet. I'm philosophical.  No point agonising. 

Weds 23 Feb

Did a walk, very pleasant,  blue sky. Didn't last - soon clouded over. Quiet day. 

Thurs. 24 Feb

Didn't go to yoga as I've been missing my  walks. Carmine red poncho from Kettlewell delivered. Love the colour but unfortunately not the best on me, so will go back.  Gloomy cold. Ukraine crisis developed today.

Fri 25 Feb

Did Body Balance. Had a 2.5 hour workshop at work today. For dinner we took the bonus daughter and her husband to one of their favourite places, Sheesh. It's a strange place frequented by Essex stereotypes - young women in skimpy dresses with cutouts, blonde hair extensions, tans and long nails -  and z-listers from TV shows like TOWIE, which we don't watch. The food, Turkish, is passable but overpriced - £25 for chips with a sprinkling of truffle powder! (We didn't have them...)

Pictured, top: what I wore, my mixed "sheesh" (the chicken was much better than the lamb, which was a bit tough)  and J's cheesecake. 

Sat Feb 26

Did 5 outfit shoot as weather was good. Phew. Walked to Waitrose after lunch. J got me a USB hub to stop me having cables on floor. 

Sunday 27 Feb

Did a home workout. The sun was out so managed to get out into the garden to do some weeding and tidying. Loved seeing all the buds and shoots. This is the forsythia hedge, which was a blaze of colour last year in mid March.

Roast chicken. Spoke to Mum. New shredder came from Amazon. I managed to burn out the motor of the other one! This one has a much bigger bin and can shred 5 pages in one go.

Monday 28 Feb

Did a forest walk, saw the long horns unexpectedly. They were eating holly. Very cold. Butter chicken for dinner, I have it with cauliflower rice. Hardly any carbs, and doesn't taste much different from pilau rice. 

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Stay in the loop: follow Is This Mutton? on Bloglovin or Feedspotwhere Is This Mutton was just voted #3 in the top 10 fashion blogs over 50. I post extra goodies on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. Check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter and Instagram.

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Friday, 4 February 2022

Sentence a Day: January 2022

 Woman using laptop PC. Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA from Pexels

A quiet month, hunkering down to get through January.  On the Plus side, I'm making good use of my gym membership and managing to combine a few walks with Yoga and Body Balance. The most exciting thing this month was being a guest on a podcast. 


Friday, 3 December 2021

My Sabbatical Month Off: Sentence a Day, November

 Long horn cattle on a frosty November morning in Epping Forest. Photo: Gail Hanlon Is This Mutton

A very busy month packed with fun things - I was on sabbatical!  This is four weeks' paid leave which my company grants us every four years. I had originally planned to go to South America but travel restrictions put paid to that. Find out what I did instead. 

Monday 1 November

Lovely blue sky day so spent it in the garden, planting bulbs, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Have never planted so many spring bulbs! This is what the garden looks like today. Still quite a lot in bloom. 

Tues 2 Nov

Another lovely day. Had booster jab, then went on a walking tour of Secret London.  Fascinating to see the tiny alleyways of Cornhill and places like Simpson's Tavern, which are so atmospheric, some with original outdoor gas lights. 

London alleyway, Cornhill area of the City

Weds 3 Nov

A beautiful day with a frosty start. Did forest walk 5 miles. Saw the cattle unexpectedly. I was bending to take a picture of the frost on leaves when the cows suddenly appeared through the trees (top picture) to cross the trail. 

Thurs 4 Nov

Cloudy, cold. Went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see their exhibition of handbags. The nearby Natural History Museum has a festive set-up with an ice rink and Christmas tree outside. 

Friday 5 Nov

Blue sky, cold. Met up with John's sisters and Don for a  trip to the Natural History Museum to see the  wildlife photographer of the year competition entries. Then had lunch at the Hereford Arms. Very enjoyable.  In the evening had dinner at the Kings Head, five minutes walk, with John's daughter and her husband. 

Sat 6 Nov

Drove to Newbury, 88 miles, for a meet-up with nine colourful women from the Kettlewell Colour Club. Interesting to see Newbury again - I lived there more than 20 years ago.  Boy has it changed.  

Sun Nov 7

My birthday! Sunny. Blue sky, not so cold. Did walk, saw cattle. John and I had a lovely lunch at Dinner by Heston, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  I wore my new black dress with tartan collar.  Starter was meat fruit  (the "tangerine" is pate) and main course was duck. 

Mon Nov 8

Busy day getting ready for my holiday. Wrote and scheduled 2 blog posts, did an online shop, 4 loads washing,  housework, shop. Chilli for dinner. 

Tues Nov 9

Packed, made a salad for J's dinner  (he is staying at home to look after the cat) and set off to Plymouth to stay with my Mum for a few days.  Left 1030 arrived 3.40pm.

Weds Nov 10

Drizzly but mild. Mum went in town to meet friends for coffee and we arranged I would get the next bus and explore the Box ((museum) before meeting her for lunch. Unfortunately the bus didn't turn up. Got the next one but had to meet mum, so no time for Box. Lovely lunch at Quay 33. Got towels at M&S ready for boot camp, having forgotten them. 

Thurs Nov 11

Cloudy, mild. Walk. Thrilled to see the village church, which closed a few years ago and was originally earmarked for flats, is now operating as a church again, Romanian Orthodox.  Went to Otter garden centre and had quiche and chips. Was hilarious when mum started talking to another woman, thinking it was me, and she was answering.  My brother and his family came over in the evening 

Friday Nov 12

Windy, cloudy. Wore the new pink jacket J gave me for my birthday.   Took mum to new deli/coffee shop. We stayed in today, did some reading, reminiscing.

Sat Nov 13

Journey to the boot camp, which is approx 48 miles from Mum's. Was dreading it a bit in case everyone was a lot younger and/or fitter. Journey was OK although satnav took me down more single track roads than was necessary!  Met those who had arrived yesterday and moved into the cottage where I'm staying with three others. Did a boxing class. Not as much exercise as I'd expected, so far.  Lunch was pea soup, dinner was a pepper salad with halloumi. We watched Strictly in the evening in our cottage's spacious sitting room. 

Sun Nov 14

Cloudy but mild. We did a short local walk of 45 mins. Breakfast was savoury beans with a poached egg. Lunch was tomato onion cucumber salsa.

Mon Nov 15 

Over 20000 steps today.  The day started in the pool for an hour, followed by a coach trip to Instow and a walk to Bideford, 6.5 miles.  Had a crunchy salad with a poached egg for lunch and delicious chicken Thai curry for dinner. 

Tues Nov 16

Cloudy. Very tough day. Started in gym with 40 mins cardio. Then step and cycle, alternating, high intensity. Also had a strenuous session with kettle bells. In the afternoon had an  hour in the gym on the weights machines. Lunch was cumin, broccoli and chilli soup. Dinner was turkey satay and cheese Cauliflower puree. Had session in the jacuzzi.  Fitbit has given up the ghost. Ordered a new one. 

Weds Nov 17

Felt quite depleted through the 2 hour gym and pool sessions. We are intermittently fasting, so breakfast is 16 hours after dinner. It was worth waiting for, a wonderful smoothie with nuts, coconut and full fat yoghurt and berries. 10 rounds of 6 exercises with 10 reps was our punishing red zone workout. I skipped boxing and tried to do some work in the gym, but quite sore and fatigued. Beetroot and feta salad for dinner. 

Thursday Nov 18

Last day! More energy today. We did an hour in the gym - 10 min circuits on the cardiovascular equipment - followed by a swim, Pilates and a fitness test. I was proud to to be able to finish the 12 rounds along with a handful of others, most of them half my age.  We also has an aerobics class. Breakfast was a rasher of bacon, poached egg, half a tomato. Lunch was crustless quiche. Late dinner of cauliflower mash and meatballs - delicious. We were then presented with our certificates and a hug from Justin. 

Friday Nov 19

Up early and we were measured (and weighed, if we wanted it). Lost 6 pounds and 3 inches off waist plus 2 inches off each thigh!  Thrilled. Set off for London at 8.30. Did some food shopping at Epping on the way home.  Poor old cat so pleased to see me. Lots of deliveries to open!  Booked MOT for car. Steak for dinner.

Sat Nov 20

Set up new Fitbit. Did walk, 4 miles.  Forest looks quite different, a lot more leaves on the ground.  Cows still there.  Falafels and salad

Sun Nov 21 

Lots of washing and tidying up. Roast chicken. 

Mon Nov 22 

Walked to Tesco. Thanks to a bulging rucksack my heart rate was in the right place on way back  (between 120 and 150 BPM). Determined to keep the weight off. 

John and I went to Tate Britain to see the Hogarth exhibition. Very busy. Was amused by this painting, "The Flea" by Crespin. 

Had lunch at a pub nearby. They only had 2 healthy options, soup or chicken breast with beans and kale. Chose the latter and it was awful! 

Tues Nov 23 

Walk, getting colder. Did forest walk. Had lunch at a carvery with John's brother and sister, and their partners. Festive atmosphere.  Had roast turkey with gammon (ham). Dinner was cheese and biscuits as we ate lunchtime. John (end of table) and his brother (on the left) look alike don't they? Their sister Sue is on the right. 

Weds Nov 24 

Turned v cold. Had  breakfast at the normal time - am experimenting with what I can get away with, to maintain weight!  Did a longer walk including Yates Meadow. Saw the horse and pony. Although it was quite steep and I tried t walk faster, my heart rate didn't go above 119. Published post about my boot camp experience.  Chilli

Thurs Nov 25 

Aargh. 2 pounds on. Reverting to intermittent fasting!  Sunny but cold. Walked to Buckhurst Hill (5 miles round trip) to collect sparkly purple dance shoes, then took them to cobbler for re-soling so they can be worn outdoors.  Put car though wash  -it was absolutely filthy - and rejoined Nuffield gym.  Salad with Falafels and houmous.

Sparkly purple dance shoes

Fri Nov 26

Those 2 pounds gone. Phew. Did 1st session at Nuffield, cardiovascular and weights. Didn't work as hard as I did at the bootcamp. Clearly need peer pressure! Packed 2 Christmas shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse. Made the yoghurt smoothie from the bootcamp for dinner - it's full fat Greek yoghurt with toasted mixed nuts throughout, coconut on the top, and frozen berries. Delicious. 

Sat Nov 27

Very cold. Did shortish walk of 3 ponds with J. Unfortunately fell over,  wasn't hurt but my cream jacket got very muddy. Collected purple sparkly shoes from the cobbler's. Steak

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton with husband on Epping Forest walk

Sun Nov 28

Rest day. Did a lot of blog photography which didn't go well, the conservatory lighting was terrible.  Tried a new pub, Duke in Wanstead,  for Sunday lunch with R and S. Had roast pork. Very good - lovely crackling!

Mon Nov 29

0 degrees and frost. Did forest walk. First day back at work. Relatively quiet, catching up on emails. Just three meetings.Salmon for dinner. 

Tues Nov 30

Drove to the office in Cambridge.  Christmas decorations are up, and a pavilion being built in one of the car parks as a winter wonderland that opens next week.  Had a lovely Christmas lunch in town with the team. As you can see, not many of us ate our sprouts!

Sharing this post with #Linkupontheedge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings,Rena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette  


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