When I returned to work last September, I may have had a wrecked wrist but I was pretty fit from being deprived of my car for most of the summer. And also because my workplace provides very pleasing lunches, so I just eat more during term-time. And of course Rusty gets longer walks during the holidays. So, returning to driving, returning to work with its irresistible school dinners (I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it really isn’t!) and the advent of long, dark evenings and therefore shorter walks for Rusty, meant that all the ingredients were there for a little extra weight. Add a Rastafarian into the mix, who is intent on fattening you up and all hope is lost. If he hadn’t been such a damn good cook, then it would have been easier, but he was accommodating towards my vegetarianism, cooked everything from scratch and even cooked in coconut oil. He was also rather liberal with his sprinkling of chillies, garlic, Himalayan rock salt and wonderfully aromatic spices and as I had developed a penchant for hot food after my taste buds woke up following the post-Ofsted/post-hubby leaving/post-moving illness, my waistline didn’t have a chance.

New year, new house, new start . . . Not really my words, but everyone else’s. I’m not one for resolving to become a ‘new me’ with every new year, but as 2016 was bringing some radically new stuff like a single status, I figured it was a good time to try shifting that little bit of extra weight that I really didn’t want to be carrying around. Christmas, inevitably, contributed towards it, so as soon as I’d polished off the last scrap of indulgent festive fare, I decided to address my eating habits.
‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper.’ If you haven’t tried this, then don’t. It doesn’t work. I put on even MORE weight in January. And I caught a cold. So I ditched the stupid royal diet and cut out carbs instead. And started to eat a clove of garlic every morning to stave off any more bugs. I guess it probably staved off vampires too. And men. I was fine with the former. Well, the latter too in fact . . . But I caught another cold, only I reckon it was ‘man flu’ because I felt too ill to be merely suffering from the common cold. So I started to eat Greek style natural yogurt, in case the garlic was destroying EVERYTHING, but with honey because then it’s amazing. I’m ashamed to admit that a student advised me that the garlic might be killing me from the inside out and that natural yogurt might be a good idea. I also started to ration the garlic to weekends and holidays, for fear of ending up with a kind of force field around me, consisting of garlic fumes. Back to the weight loss – not quite there, even with the Lenten deprivation, but have DEFINITELY seen an improvement.

I love bread. Doughy, delicious and dangerous. When I borrowed a friend’s bread-maker last year, I was impressed with the quantity I could eat before feeling bloated. She had kindly lent it to me, so I could try it out before investing in a magic machine myself. I returned it before moving, fully intending purchasing my very own after the move, which I did, shortly after getting my nails done. As I write, it’s quite late and you could be forgiven for thinking that I’ve accidentally dropped an irrelevant fact into my bread story, but the nails are important. My nails had reached the stage of needing re-doing, but I had failed to secure an appointment to do so at the weekend. It’ll be ok, I thought, I’ll be careful for that extra week. I was VERY excited about the bread-maker. I opted for a plain, white loaf to start and after following the recipe carefully, I put the mixture in the magic machine and set it to cook for 3 hours. Then I started to put rubber gloves on to wash up and that’s when I noticed I’d broken the little finger nail on my right hand. I couldn’t believe I’d done such a cliched thing – I searched EVERYWHERE for half a purple nail but nothing! I’ll let you know what happens – I haven’t found it in the bread yet. I wonder if Mrs Lovett, pie-maker extraordinaire from Sweeney Todd, worried about this sort of thing. Probably not.


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