My weight is within my ideal range. (for an Orag Utan)

Ok I have to

admit (yet again) I am fat, not obese or overweight or some other fancy phrase. I am not comfortable and this is mainly due to the large belly in the way. I did quite well before Christmas. But then the allure of the mince-pies and the Stolen and the c and biscuits was too much. I have put much of it back on. I reached an impressive  124 Kg. top weight and got down to 118 Kg. I am now 120 Kg. and determined to go down again.

Fat Orang Utan
weight loss – it ain’t easy for some.

I think there is something in the air about winter, the cold and dark and general feeling of being fed up with Christmas coming around yet again that makes me eat. But I have a while before the next one. I am not active but did see the benefit of the loss. Putting it back on has made me not give up but realise that it is the little inconveniences that have returned. Like trying to tie shoe laces and straining my shoulder getting up out of bed.  Like having the cat jump up and sit on top of my belly-blubber. Like my shirt not being long enough to tuck in because it has to take a detour, and there being no room to tuck it in either.

I eat very healthily, but I also eat unhealthily aswell and for me I think that is the problem. There is very little I really don’t like. Tuna, Salmon, cheap mince, undercooked rice, dead cabbage and sprouts that have been boiled to mush.

I like my food laid out properly on the plate, not an amorphous mass of gunge, leg of lamb with mint, veg and a little potato separate is the way it should be for me with roasts and Yorkshire pudding on top and a little gravy but not all over.

I went out for lunch the other day and the only thing wrong I could fault it on was that the gravy had been lashed all over the crisp topping of the corned beef pie. Apparently I should have looked for the things I liked about it , but that is not where I was on that day. Looking back the pots were hot , the pie crust had been crusty, and there was a good helping. As Gerard Hoffnung would say, I was well fed up.

It is just so annoying that liking food and having a healthy appetite seems now to be inconsistent with my needs to stay mobile and not die soon.

I know there are lots in the world who can not afford to or do not get enough. I can and do, but must not. It is one of those first world problems. Like having horse in your burgers. So what if its horse or cat or dog, as long as it is cooked and comes with a nice salad, spiral spicy chips and cool drink of Pepsi-Max, followed by pancakes and maple syrup with ice-cream and a cup of tea to follow with a few custard creams.

I see other fat people either on the way to work or around town, (and boy have those people in Bishop Auckland, like me got to realise soon) and I see them waddling or with legs splayed and knees locked to try to support the massive weight. I look down on them and wonder why they let themselves and their children get like that, but the fact is that I too am not far off that. I disgust myself each time I dare to look in the mirror, and being depressed that makes me go further down and think of eating again. I must not and it is hard.

I am ‘fortunate ‘ in having my own live in ‘weight watcher’ leader. To inspire me and help me. The current thinking of that organisation is all about food being too available.( We see an advert as we whizz through the recorded  TV, it gets to the programme , we pause it and then go hunter gathering in the fridge). I also have a daughter who is gazelle like and sons who are a healthy athletic shape. So I am the odd one out by a wide way.


When on an all-inclusive holiday I lose weight though, because it is warm and sunny and don’t feel like eating too much even though I eat and drink plenty.

So I would like to order a side salad of sunny spring followed by a long hot summer and mild autumn so that I feel like wearing shorts and T-shirts and get over the winter SAD and blues.

I would like work to become not so much of a stress but a great place to go and be creative and appreciated. For my relationships with others to be warm and sociable, and money to come rolling in faster than I can spend it – ( maybe I could afford lipo-suction then).

I need to make sure that I don’t continue the cycle, so I can do more and lose weight and feel better. My ideal weight is in the 80 Kg region, I have not been that weight since 1981. I aim to get under the target though of 100 Kg which is what I was in 1998 and was trying to lose weight.

Cup of Tea now I think and some of those buns with a cherry on top of the icing  would be nice.


I like Driving In My Car

I’ve been driving in my car, it’s not quite a jaguar.

Well that’s how the Madness song goes, and for most of us a Jaguar is a bit out of our reach financially. Not that I would want one anyway, I am quite happy really with my little Meriva.

The Cleansweep Assesssment point I am looking at now is

“My car is in excellent condition. (Doesn’t need mechanical work, repairs, cleaning or replacing)”.

I would like to think that this is true for me. It wasn’t last month, when I felt a little wobble at slow speed, and after a week I got around to going to Kwikfit. The Kwikfit-fitter chap pointed to a huge rip in the tyre 20cm long (I went metric in 1971) “Youve been bloody* lucky there” he said *(or was it ‘cooking’ it sounded like that anyway). I guess I was, I was going on a long journey the day after and it would have been a nasty surprise on the motorway, had it come away. He looked at one of the others and said that needed replacing too. So I selected my tyres at £38.00 each and the total came to £205.00.

Now, way back in history in 1971, when the uk went to decimal currency, I was at Primary school age 11. We had sums back then and we were tought to do ‘Adding up’. My skills are a bit rusty on sums but looking at the till receipt it seemed to add up ok. So I paid up.
I like having my tyres Kwickfit-fitted and with valves and Nitrogen (isn’t that what is in Air?) and checked to make sure they have been put on straight. Then there is Tax too. So £38 + £38
+ essentials = £205.00. I should have known that.

The Kwikfit-fitter chap did seem a bit embarrassed (but not too much).

The following day I went to the dentist. I needed to have a broken tooth replaced with a crown. The cost with all the NHS discounts and subsidies came to £205.00.

The dental office lady smiled and seemed rather gleeful (but not too much) as she charged me and seemed to imply I should be grateful for the NHS and that it had ben capped at that.

It strikes me that keeping ones car in order which used to be so expensive when I first started driving, is still a bit expensive, but for what it gives you, ( in terms of getting about and freedom etc, being part of the enjoyment in life, and I do like driving in my car), it’s worth it.
The relative cost of even subsidised health care seems to have risen astronomically by comparison.

Back in the ‘Old School Days’ they used to tell me to look after my teeth. There were subjects too like car maintenance. The idea being that you could look after your own car and save a lot of cash. The reality is though that todays cars are not so easy to DIY but teeth are. I wish I had listened and looked after my teeth, somebody should have told me I would have to pay for them as well as my car.

So if you are looking for a profession, I think dentistry must be a more lucrative option than being a KwikFit-fitter chap, and yet involve pretty much the same skill-set, find the problem, take it out, use a drill thing, hit it, tut a lot, say “you should look after things a bit better”, charge people money and make them feel grateful you caused them pain.

A pair of tyres though in the great scheme of things is much more important in keeping me alive than a single tooth. Maybe that’s why you can’t get a dentist better than a Kwikfit-fitter.

Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Getting ones life in order is, I think, a good aim. Drifting and letting life happen without attempting to steer it ends up far away in the middle of nowhere.

Under Well Being of the Clean Sweep Assessment are a couple of aims that have a common thread. Stuff you put in your brain. I’ve thought a lot about that recently.

  • I rarely use caffeine. (Chocolate, coffee, colas, tea)
    less than 3 times per week, total.
  • I rarely eat sugar. (Less than 3 times per week).
  • I rarely watch television. (Less than 5 hours per
  • I rarely drink alcohol. (Less than 2 drinks per week)

So I tried getting off caffeine and for about 3 weeks I had a splitting headache that felt like someone was slowly peeling off my skull away from my brain with a claw hammer. This was on top of the headache which is ever-present since starting Citalopram for depression and stress, that one is a drilling of a hole from in front of the left ear to the back of my right eye where I hear a constant whistle.

I then had a high energy extra caffeine ‘Monster’, my headache was instantly gone.


A bit of research on the inter-web-net-thingy led me around a merry dance of discovery.     So caffeine is by implication bad for you in Clean Sweep Assessment, it was good for me though. It works with the paracetamol for my headache and Ibuprofen for joint pain and Citalopram and I feel better and with a clear head, and not a dull forgetful sense of head pain and bewilderment.

I have cut down on sugar, and TV although not to those levels. I guess the idea is that you go and do something less boring instead, and taste things as they are. But being depressed seems to make it difficult for me to do anything new. Life seems to taste dull and uninteresting, TV and sugar add a little extra taste.

Alcohol is off-limits. I cannot tolerate alchohol in any measure or within a very short space of time, never mind peeling my skull back, it is more like a nuclear storm going on for hours. I dont mind. I used to have a drink very occasionally and not to any excess and don’t miss it at all.

Ian Dury

So, why the title? I watched the film the other day, (is that watching TV?, I would like to argue not) of the same name. It’s a reflection on the life of Ian Dury. I liked the music as a teenager, the chorus is so catchy it makes you feel good.

And that is the point. If you don’t feel 100% you need to find something that changes things. Putting good things in your brain, not bad stuff like negative thoughts, alcohol and  such like. I don’t need to be a slave to this list but to consider each point as an adult and make an informed plan of what I need for the moment to clean my life and achieve a balance in it.

But Chocolate and caffeine can be good for depression, sex is difficult but it makes one feel valued, Rock ‘n’ Roll lifts the spirits, makes me relax and gives me an identity. The right films and intelligent TV, stimulates and educates the mind. Alcohol can be a social lubricant in moderation (if not taking anti-depressants).

So the song should be ‘Sex(in an ongoing stable monogamous relationship) and anti-depressants(with chocolate, caffeine, paracetamol and Ibuprofen but not alcohol) and Rock ‘n’ Roll and TV (BBC 2 and Discovery), Sugar Sugar’.

But that’s not quite so catchy.

I do it my way – and so should you.

My personal files, papers, and receipts are neatly
filed away

I do not have OCD, but I sometimes wonder if it would be easier if I could have the label. I do get bothered about some things in a OCD like way. I can’t stand it when something is lost. I have to check the dominoes before and after playing to make sure all 28 are there. There are 52 cards in a deck of cards. It’s a deck not a pack. etc. etc..

It stresses me that other people don’t bother about these things as they should do. I can’t work out why they are not bothered. Things should be done properly and consistently, my way.

When I look for a particular document I need it to be in the correct file. I need it to be easily found in the file, in date order. Not that everything needs keeping, but the important stuff does.

So all my papers are neatly catalogued and filed, the kitchen crockery is neatly stacked, all with the same pattern. Knives, forks and spoons each in the correct place in the kitchen drawer. DVD’s alphabetized left to right by title (I wish).

This is because my wife does it. She is organised and neat.

I am chaotic and disorganised. My DIY equipment is in one or other of the two sheds (probably), my loft has a whole load of unused old stuff I can’t bear to part with. My clean washing is piled on the bedroom dresser, but there are no socks in my drawer. I just can’t bring myself to do the sorting out of these things. I’m stuck, because of the enormity (to me) of each apparent task.

My PC and laptop and work laptop though are each highly structured, and double backed up. I am a programmer by employment and I like my code all neat and just so. My model traction engines and coin collection are organised, but it seems mainly to be the physical aspects of my life that are disorganised. I have no idea as to why there is this difference.

For me, having a partner who is prepared to put up with, and complement my weaknesses with her strengths, is an amazing privilege.

If it were to be left to me my t-shirts and trousers would still be scrumpled up near to the overflowing wash basket.

That is why I forgive her so readily for folding my T-shirts and trousers the wrong way.

Cleaning Up the Mess

I thought my life was pretty much under control, and then I lost it.  I found this page at  which suggests some very thought provoking areas of life to get under control.

I have looked at many of these areas in my life and discussed them with my wife. We are making steady progress. This category is where I will share some of the experiences I have had and am having in looking at these areas of my life.

I am not going to attempt to achieve them all but work through each area as I can.