Dieting, Resolutions, snowdrops

Dieting, And A Destination…

When the first of the month falls on a Monday, it’s a great time for second chances. How are you doing with your New Year resolutions? I’ve struggled with cutting down on carbs, so since Christmas, I’ve been busy losing three pounds in weight, then putting two of them back on again. It’s the little things I miss. OH brought a still-warm loaf of wholegrain bread back from our village shop one day last week. I managed to resist it for a whole day, but my willpower failed before the family managed to eat it all. Bread and Marmite has never tasted so good!

The second of February is Candlemas Day, a Christian celebration celebrated annually. It represents the Virgin Mary’s purification and the presentation of Christ, and in our church all the candles for the year are blessed. Snowdrops are traditionally known as Candlemas Bells, as they flower at this time of year. When some brave daffodils were in flower at Christmas here, I thought the snowdrops would all be out and over by now, but they followed their own calendar. The photos on this blog were taken here at Tottering Towers, but if you’re anywhere near Colesbourne in Gloucestershire over the next couple of weeks, try and get to Colesbourne Gardens, where you can see them by the thousand. The gardens are signposted from the M5, and opening times for this don’t-blink-or-you’ll miss it event are on their website.
Christina Hollis, Resolutions

Today, Tomorrow, Next Week…

Sixteen days into the New Year – how are you doing with those resolutions? They say if you can only keep up an improvement for forty days it becomes a habit, so we’re nearly halfway to that milestone! I’m hoping it’ll turn out to be true. Most of my good intentions have fallen by the wayside (how is it that every time I start dieting, I put on weight? It’s so dispiriting, it sends me straight back to the chocolate). However, I have managed to keep two of them – to cut down on online surfing, and to try out a new recipe at least once a week. 
My main time-suck online was dipping into the newspapers. That was taking up a lot of my valuable writing time each day, so ditching them has been really helpful. The only way I’ve managed to do it is to work mainly on my Neo, which is literally just a keyboard with a memory and no Internet access. I upload my work at the end of each day, and it’s really gratifying to see how my work in progress is growing.
As for the recipes, that’s going well too. Orsotto (risotto made with barley instead of rice) has become a new family favourite, and the new Christmas pudding recipe which uses crystallised ginger and pineapple was delicious – so much lighter than the normal stodgy pud, it deserves to be made more often than once a year. I love making jams, jellies and other preserves, so this week’s novelty might be a new variation on the theme of marmalade.
How are you getting on?