Monday, January 9, 2012

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be.... for a half-marathon. Yes folks, as of this week I am officially in training for my first ever half-marathon (cue much sweating and gnashing of teeth. And that's before I even get anywhere near a road and/or gym.)

I've always wanted to be one of those sporty (skinny) types, who survive on a diet my rabbit grumbles about being on, who radiate smug healthiness and who wax lyrically about their love of outdoor pursuits. I mean, I've hated those girls but I have also secretly longed for admittance into their exclusive, radiantly healthy gang. Well this is the year I make it happen people!! (I may have demonstrated my enthusiasm a little too much yesterday and ended up straining a muscle in my chest, which meant that I wheezed and puffed my way around the office today like a ninety-year old chain smoker).

Anyway my friend had more or less the same idea, so we have both signed up for the Luxembourg City half-marathon, which takes place on May 19th, giving me around 21 weeks to become less heifer, more gazelle. Or something like that... Thanks to the brilliant and amazing Tina, I have my training plan (courtesy of Hal Higdon) so I am ready to rock the shizzle out of it people. I will keep you updated on how my training is progressing and how I'm feeling about the whole thing, with a view to posting a pic of myself avec medal on May 20th, most likely STILL with a purple face.

I have some posts coming up which will delve into the recipes I am loving on my new wheat-free buzz and another post which might just be the cutest thing you have ever seen (just you wait. I challenge you not to melt!). In the meantime, my happy friend thanks you for stopping by and hopes y'all come back soon. (I would post more but there is a nerdtastic programme on about the Higgs boson particle that I simply HAVE to watch)

Ciao xx

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inspirational Dinosaurs, or how T-Rex helped shape my day

Evening all, how are we? I hope that all the poor, unfortunate souls out there who had to face work today after the Christmas break have recovered sufficiently from that shock to the system and are now rewarding themselves with a nice bit of couch-surfing for getting through the day without murdering colleagues, getting body parts jammed in the photocopier or breaking the coffee machine and sidling guiltily out of the canteen without anyone noticing. Ahem.

Moving swiftly on, has anyone ever noticed the way that the last song you hear before going into work can get stuck in your head and drive you completely M-A-D for the rest of the day? Well, the last song that I heard this morning was T-Rex 'Children of the Revolution', and while it did get stuck in my head, it also sort of shaped the way my day went. You see, today was Day 1 of my new healthy lifestyle regime, a diet and exercise revolution if you will (am I pushing it with that? Possibly) and the constant looping of that song in my head managed to keep me more or less on the straight and narrow - much to my delight.

I was recently diagnosed with IBS, so my doctor told me that my love affair with wheat had to end and that time was up on my steamy trysts with refined sugar. Naturally, this news was devastating and I was full sure I would fall off the wagon today. Repeatedly. However, Mr Marc Bolan crooning 'No you cant fool/ the children of the revolution/no you cant fool/ the children of the revolution' managed to halt me in my tracks every time the tray of Ferrero Rochers winked suggestively at me, or the bag of croissants got up and did a little dance right at my desk.

Marc - skateboarding like a god. Don't fool him. He KNOWS.

This positive frame of mind was further reinforced by one of my lovely friends, who told me that one of her New Year's resolutions was to try to do some form of activity every day in January - something as simple as a 20 minute walk, running up and down a few flights of stairs, or just bopping around like a raving lunatic to some choons, basically anything that gets the heart pumping and the muscles moving is your friend here.

Now THAT's an inspirational dinosaur

Right, enough preaching out of me tonight - I'm off to bring the hounds for a quick run in the fields before I retire for the evening. They have somehow sensed this plan and are trying to slink quietly behind the couch in the hopes that I will leave them in peace - maybe I should explain the concept of inspirational dinosaurs to them? 

Ciao for now dudes...

Monday, January 2, 2012

She-Ra, Near Death Experiences & the Evolution of the SuperSoup

Hello one and all - well, well, well boys and girls (as Uncle Gaybo would say) WHAT a day I've had. It started off quite well, with an episode or two of the eponymous Princess of Power, or She-Ra to give her her full title. She-Ra was a Saturday morning staple of my childhood and Himself very kindly got me a DVD of some of the best episodes for Christmas (JOY!) so I've been working my way through them gleefully while on my holidays. And don't worry, there will definitely be a post on this lady coming up soon!

Anyway, I finally staggered downstairs to be greeted enthusiastically by the two mutts and one husband. 'Husband'- says I - ' Did you take the bow out of the dogs hair?'. Husband replied rather emphatically that he had not. 'Hmmmm', says I. Cue frantic searching of the entire house for the missing bow, only to realize rather belatedly that Miss Phoebe the dog must have eaten it. The vet is practically on speed-dial, so a quick phone call assured us that the missing bow would inevitably make an appearance and there was nothing to worry about, as it was relatively small and would be sure to, ahem, pass with no problems...however, this did not prevent Little Miss Phoebe from assuming an expression of utter despair and acting as if she was about to be martyred all afternoon (or until someone rattled her bag of treats. That seemed to have an instant uplifting effect)

After the stresses of the morning, I decided that I needed something healthy, packed with nutrients and as comforting as a big squidgy hug for my dinner. Something that a superhero would quaff before an epic battle perhaps. A quick check of the vegetable drawer confirmed my suspicions that this area of the kitchen had been completely and utterly neglected during the 2011 FatFest (or the week between Christmas and New Year's as it's known to everyone else). The following ingredients caught my eye, so inspired by my cartoon-watching earlier in the day, I decided to make a SuperSoup.

I chopped up the above (2 sweet potatoes, 1 regular potato, 1 apple, 2 onions, 2 parsnips and around 8 carrots), drizzled them with sesame oil, seasoned them with black pepper and threw in three cloves of garlic for good measure. Aww pretty.

I literally flung them in the oven (as I was in the middle of watching The Empire Strikes Back - nerdgasm alert) at around 180 degrees for an hour, or until they got all charred and caramelised and generally yummy.

These guys got added to a litre and a half of vegetable stock (gluten free of course) and I simmered them for around 10 mins, before chucking them into a blender and serving with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of black pepper - and it was pretty darn tasty, even if I do say so myself!

So there you have it! She-Ra, a near death experience and the evolution of the SuperSoup - and I bet you thought I had gone slightly barmy with the title of the blog post (I'll pretend I didn't hear that, you at the back!)

Ciao for now peeps...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Meet The Muttley Crew and representatives from Mittinsky Corp

I know, I know, two posts in a night - you guys are going to be sick of me for sure. But I promised you cute animal pix and dammit, I am a woman who keeps her promises. Mostly.

The one with the bow in her hair and the very innocent face is Phoebe and she is Trouble. Yes folks, Trouble with a capital T. She may look like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth but BELIEVE ME, once you think that, she owns your ass. I am not kidding here people, this puppy is pure ghetto and the ringleader of The Muttley Crew. Himself thinks I have her spoiled, but really how could you not spoil her? (As you can see from this, my ass no longer belongs to me).

The little one attempting to hide on the cat tree is Izzy, gang member numero duo. She is a Havanese, a breed I had never heard of before I came to Luxembourg but which originates in South America, namely Cuba. This has resulted in me imagining that she speaks like Speedy Gonzales from the old Looney-Tunes cartoons, which entertains me greatly (but which Himself finds considerably less amusing, particularly when I proceed to have a conversation with Izzy in this dialect teehee).

These two guys are my beloved kittycats, Sophie (the one looking up with narrowed eyes and an orange nose) and Jersey (the cutie with the white face). I will say this right now so you all know where you stand: 'Hello, my name is Dawn and I am a crazy cat lady'. And crazy doesn't even come close to it, so flee now while you still can...

The Mittinsky Corp comes from the fact that these two women are THE cleverest cats I have ever had - even the vet agrees with me on this. Myself and Himself decided a long time ago that these guys most likely have alternate identities, several different passports and many, many offshore bank accounts - basically, these two could buy and sell us several times over with their smarts. Anyway, ages ago I was pottering around the kitchen when Jersey launched herself on me and made the strangest miaow I have ever heard - it was like a Russian toast (Na zdorovje!) so naturally, I decided that she was head of a Russian corporation and was housed with me as part of some covert black-ops style mission, hence the birth of the Mittinsky Corp.

Now, you may have decided by now that I am completely insane and most likely writing with a tinfoil hat from a room covered in bubble wrap so that They cant hear my thoughts, but honestly I'm not *that* mad....I hope.

Anyway, ciao for now lovely people...

Taking tentative first otherwords, hi there!

Hello...if anyone is out there and reading this that is. Ahem..I'm just going to pretend as if we are at a lovely drinks party and meeting for the first time. No, scratch that please, I am Not Good in social situations as a rule. I get awkward, go a bit stare-y and really overly enthusiastic with the head-bobbing and laughing at nothing. And I tend to babble way too much. Oh, right....

Lets try that again, shall we? Hello lovely reader and welcome to this little blog. Along with a myriad of other blogs which no doubt have had life breathed into them today, starting up this little ditty of a thing was on my list of New Year resolutions and I finally decided to give it a go. It might go well, in which case I will possibly break the Internet with ramblings churned out several times during the day, or it might not - in which case we won't ever speak of this again, 'kay?

Sorry, I got distracted there by Harry Potter - its the Half-Blood Prince movie and its at the part where himself and Dumbledore are about to be attacked by motherfupping ZOMBIES (gonna be huge for 2012 dahlings) but nevermind, I'm back. Now, where was I? (This short attention span thingy is going to be a common theme I imagine) (also, Helena Bonham Carter is just uh-maze-ing in these movies).

Ok, right, how to wrap this up before it becomes an indecipherable stream-of-consciousness tome to rival Ulysses or something? I'll just say that I'm going to keep writing about all kinds of things that I love and loathe (often simultaneously) and I hope some of you will tag along for the ride. To whet your appetite, I will post some pictures of my main source material (as I anticipate them to be); The Muttley Crew aka my two hounds Phoebe and Izzy and the Mittinsky Corp aka my two cats Sophie and Jersey. I should mention that I am brutal at technology, so the pictures *may* take a while. (On another note, OHMYGOD the end of this movie kills me every. damn. time.)

Ciao for now, readers brave and few...