Thursday, December 20, 2007

Radio silence warning

Just a quick post to say that we're going to the in-laws' for Christmas, and I don't expect I'll be posting while I'm away (though you never know). I also have an end-of-module assignment for my course to write when I come back, so I definitely shouldn't be posting then...

A rundown:

J has put lots of pictures of our piggies up at this Flickr site. Cuteness abounds: comments welcome!


I have a rather anti-social cold/sore throat/cough. I am really disgusting. I feel my in-laws will recoil from me muttering "unclean!". Of course they're far too nice to do this really; also, their boy has it too.

Although I cycled about six miles (on two occasions twelve) every day from Wednesday until Monday, I managed to gain three pounds from somewhere. (And the body fat monitor on the scales doesn't think it's muscle). However, since I got the cold, I have not felt much like eating, and am hoping that they will be gone next time I weigh myself.

No, I haven't given up food altogether, but my throat is sore enough to rebel at the thought of eating anything vaguely cornery, acidic, or strongly flavoured. Which cuts out quite a lot of my normal diet. If only rice pudding was a health food, I'd be fine...

However, all my Christmas presents are wrapped.

And I'm going to have a hot bath to soothe my aches.

Happy Christmas, people!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The cycling and chocolate regimen

I have lost four pounds (I won't say "this week" because I forgot to weigh myself on Monday, and quite probably it would only be one or two since then). This is good. The current number is 182 (35% bf).

It's something of a surprise since I rather thought this had been an unhealthy week - they have chocolate biscuits at work, and I've been eating them. On the other hand, there's the cycling, and three flights of stairs to climb to get to my office - but would you have thought that was enough to make a difference? I only work three days a week.

I didn't get to bike in on Wednesday, indeed, because it was so windy that J was worried I'd be blown under a lorry. The wind is the main disadvantage on my route - the traffic isn't actually too bad, especially in the morning. Oh, and the Big Hill. That's fairly disadvantageous. It takes me about ten minutes longer to cycle up it than to go down it.

The weather's been fairly kind to me so far, but it doesn't really matter if I get wet. I wear aged tracksuit trousers and a T-shirt under my obnoxious fluorescent jacket, and then execute a quick change in the ladies' once I get to work. It's a slight pain, but probably better than getting one's respectable clothes damp/sweaty.

I never used to worry about that when I was at college. Almost everybody biked everywhere and we never gave a thought to whether we smelled sweaty in tutorials. Maybe everyone does, and they just don't notice because they're used to it...

I am about to head out into the dark to do some Christmas shopping (yeah, it's 3pm and the sun doesn't appear to have risen today). Meanwhile, here is a picture of Pumpkin sitting on my sister. Because it wouldn't do to have a post with no guinea pig content, would it?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The new job

In answer to your questions: everything seems to be going OK so far. Yes, I can see out of a window with a beautiful view over Edinburgh and down to the sea. My chair is all right, though it has no arms. I keep trying to rest my elbows on thin air.

I used to work in this place a few years ago, so I know many of the names already, and the staff fridge is near-empty, so plenty of room for my cottage cheese. Nobody but me seems to drink coffee, but I have supplied myself with some of my preferred brand (and some herbal tea). One of my favourite coffee shops is also just over the road. Other comments (about guinea pigs etc) have been responded to below!

The job is in the records field. I'm not going to tell you where it is, except that it is about 30 minutes by bike from my house, all uphill. Despite this, I have now cycled in twice, and intend to keep at it - it wakes me up a bit (I'm not at all a morning person) and it's a lot less frustrating than waiting for a bus. I'm really good at just missing buses.

The great advantage of it being uphill on the way out, of course, is that it's downhill all the way back. And I hope once I get my new whizzy bike, I'll be able to get up the hill a bit quicker.

I'm currently riding a purple hybrid mountain bike which I've had since I was thirteen. Yes, fifteen years. It carried me well through several years of university, but Oxford was a lot flatter than Edinburgh, and I'm beginning to feel the weight of the chunky steel frame and the limitations of the gears (five) as I toil up that hill. The road bike I have my eye on is nice and light and has 21 gears. I will try to find my old faithful a new home, though.

I haven't yet joined the gym, partly because I haven't got my staff card yet (which I'd need) and partly because... am I really going to have the stamina to cycle AND gym? Theoretically, of course, I could go to the gym on any of the four days out of seven that I'm not at work. But would I? I'm not exactly overburdened with spare time at the moment. I think I'll give it a week of biking and see how it goes. I'm pretty tired at the moment, but that happened last time I started working after a break, too, so it may pass.

But now, the news I'm sure you've been aching to hear: the guinea pigs have names!
On the left, Pumpkin; Cupcake in the middle; then Brownie. I suppose we really ought to have called Pumpkin "Gingerbread" or something. Excuse the fuzzy picture: it was taken on J's phone!

I did probably iron that top at some point, too.

The guinea pigs are already making their personalities felt. Pumpkin is the cheekiest (and obsessed with burrowing under and into things. Such as the gap between one's body and arm, which isn't always convenient.) Cupcake is the most docile with us - she'd let herself be picked up straightaway without running away, which the others didn't. She's also fallen asleep on someone at least once so far. However, she's quite assertive with the others. Brownie isn't bossy - she does definitely still have the loudest squeak, though!

They all like carrots, cabbage, hay, and running around like mad things.

At the moment, Pumpkin weighs one pound three ounces, Cupcake one pound four, and Brownie one pound four and a half. Which is a lot less than me (186 still on Wednesday, but that was almost certainly hormone-influenced). I will update next Monday with the current number.