Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Biscuits are bad

Right. What happened to my goal of losing weight? I kind of forgot about it because of being frantically busy.

Yeah, right. Too busy to... not eat very much. Hmm.

I've claimed before that I'm not a huge eater, and I still maintain this. I'm not a major binger. But there are times - mainly when I'm sitting at the kitchen table doing a mind-explodingly boring pile of marking - when I'll decide to have a biscuit. And then possibly a second. Followed by a banana. Not because I'm hungry but because I crave distraction.

There are three facts, however, of which I'm perfectly well aware - because they're ... well, blindingly obvious.

1. I am overweight because I eat too much for me. It's irrelevant that my skinny friends eat far more. Very annoying, but irrelevant.

2. If I took a lot more exercise, I would lose weight. But I know I'm not going to. I go out for jog-trotty-walks most evenings, for half an hour or so, and am reasonably fit as far as climbing stairs and walking up smallish hills are concerned. But I really am too busy as well as too embarrassed to go to a gym, and too self-conscious to do any real running along the roads. I'd like to be able to run three miles or so but it's not going to happen any time soon.

3. Because I don't overeat hugely, cutting down my relatively minor excesses isn't going to make the wobbly bits dissolve overnight. So doing it for two weeks and then giving up in a huff IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. It must be possible. I am not a walking miracle. People lose weight in famines.

So. Get on with it. Tomorrow. Or rather - since it's 23.47 as I type this sentence - now.

(I don't really know if I'm going to, though. I think I am. But I've thought this before. Picture me giving myself a big kick. Do it, woman!)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Gloomy blog

I've never actually heard it myself, but have read that when farmers separate cows from their calves, the mournful mooing of the mothers can be heard over several fields. Well, imagine me mooing here. Daughter 2 went back down south to university today and I'm missing her horribly.

I think there ought to be a law which says that children have to stay with their parents for ever. Yes, I do realise that this is ridiculous, but - well, mooo. When you're young, it seems perfectly natural that you should go and do your own thing, but from the parents' point of view, you've spent all these years nurturing these people, whom you love more than anyone else in the world, and then you're expected to wave them off and get on with things. Meantime you feel as if someone had amputated a vital bit of your anatomy. Yes, it's possible to continue life with only one arm, but it's not such fun.

And of course, at the same time I know perfectly well that it's a good thing that the offspring can cope alone, and have lots of friends, and, yes, indeed, I acknowledge that they have to make their own independent lives. It's just that simply knowing this doesn't make it as much easier as you'd think.

Some time ago, before I started blogging myself, I wondered if other people felt the same as me, and so I Googled "missing my daughter". What I found were lots of parents whose daughters had either died or been given to the other parent in a custody battle. Which rather put things in perspective. So I shall try counting my blessings, and go and make a cup of tea.

Friday, April 14, 2006

You heard about him here first

It's been an interesting week.

Last Saturday, of course, was the wedding, with its attendant excitement. There were various in-laws and other friends around till Monday, and since then I've been on holiday, just getting things back to normal. But meanwhile, in New York, Daughter 2's boyfriend has had a rather startling time.

He's in New York, studying at a theatre school - or I suppose a theater school - called The Circle in the Square. We had never heard of this, but it's evidently quite prestigious. He's doing musical theatre: he has a lovely voice and was one of the stars of the unversity theatre group which Daughter 2, and then Son, and for one season Daughter 1, belonged to. For most of her time at Edinburgh University, Daughter 2 was going out with a young man that we weren't terribly keen on (but that's another story). However, towards the end of her time there, that young man decided that he wanted to be free to fall in love with a variety of people. (Which made her very sad. Her father and I wanted to throw tomatoes at him. Very soft ones. With big fluffy mouldy bits.) But after a while, Daughter 2 got together with the much nicer Boyfriend 2, who was just finishing a degree in English Literature.

However, Boyfriend 2 had by then applied to this theatre school, was offered a place and has spent most of the past two years there, while she did her Master's in England. The romance has survived and he and his class are now doing shows to which agents and casting directors are coming along. And he seems to be doing well so far. He has 2 agents and several casting directors interested in him, and has been asked to audition for the LEAD in a touring production of one of his favourite musicals. He didn't apply for the part (because he saw the advert in "Backstage" - "World class comic actor required" and didn't think this was him) and therefore didn't go through the first two rounds of auditions. He's going straight into the third round. He doesn't really think that there's the slightest chance of his actually getting the part, even if the "world class" bit was something of an exaggeration. Apart from anything else, this part calls for a 50-year-old and he's 24.

But still, it's encouraging. And I, who have been assuming that he would go through a few years of unemployment and then give up and become a teacher or something, am beginning to wonder if I might be - gasp - wrong.

It's impossible not to feel anxious, though. Would you want your daughter to - marry? maybe? - an actor? He's a really nice chap, as far as we can see. But ... hmm. Yes, yes, I know: it's her life. It's just that - we want her life to be perfect. Of course.

All the same, it's undoubtedly exciting, isn't it? Let's stick with that thought as a conclusion for today's blog.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Daughter 1 gets married.

Well. The wedding was WONDERFUL.

When we got married, more than 32 years ago, I didn't particularly enjoy the ceremony or the reception because I was shy, and didn't want attention focused on me. Also, I thought that I was fat and therefore that I looked silly. Actually, I wasn't fat: I was under 9 stone, so about 124 pounds, which for my 5'4" height wasn't thin, but wasn't fat either.

However, Daughter 1's wedding was a joy from beginning to end. She looked lovely and so happy. The groom also looked very smart and had a big curly smile the whole time. They were so sweet when they said their vows. The bridesmaids were very pretty and had a lot of fun. The weather: hailstones briefly until about ten minutes before we all left the house, and then sunshine. The ceremony was lovely: our minister said just the right sort of things, the guests sang the hymns well, our son sang a duet from "The Magic Flute" with a friend so beautifully during the signing of the register and it was all fantastic. The function room in the hotel looked very pretty, the meal was great, the speeches were good (Daughter 2 gave a lovely speech in tribute to her sister and welcoming her brother-in-law into the family), the ceilidh band (playing music for Scottish dancing) was excellent and people danced and had a great time.

I really never expected to enjoy it so much. My co-mother-in-law and my sister-in-law came from England a few days early and we arranged the flowers in the church and in the hotel, which was enjoyable. Daughter 2 decorated the cake (which was just bought from Marks and Spencer - iced cakes in 3 sizes) with ribbons and fresh flowers, made the bouquets and the buttonholes with her friend, and did a lot of organising. So there was a lot of attendant fun even before the ceremony. And we saw friends old and new on the day, and had a lot of general socialising beforehand and afterwards.

We were so proud of our children. They're really nice people, and Daughter 2 and Son did such a lot to make sure that their sister and her new husband had a wonderful day.

And it didn't cost a huge fortune, unlike the "average weddings" that one reads about, costing alarming amounts of money, in newspaper articles. We had only one hired car, we did the flowers ourselves, the cake was simple but delicious - all this saved a lot. But Daughter 1 got the dress of her dreams, the bridesmaids liked theirs too, the hotel and the meal were lovely and the band was very good indeed, so we felt that we spent money on the important things.

We were so lucky in so many ways. The photographer was really nice. The chauffeur was lovely. The waiting staff in the hotel couldn't have been more helpful.

Maybe all this waxing lyrical is a bit nauseating? Sorry - but it really was a great day. On the negative side, though - I didn't quite seem to get round to losing any weight. I stopped weighing myself after a bit and I'm nervous about stepping on the scales again. I will, though. Tomorrow or so. And the wedding pictures will no doubt feature a fat lady in a silly hat. But still - it was one of the happiest days of my life. Luckily for us, Daughter 1 and Son-in-Law will be staying with us for a while, so we aren't losing her yet - which would have made my emotions more mixed.

I would definitely do it again. Just not quite yet.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dust and bits of paper

I'm just allowing myself a quick blog while the kitchen floor dries. The great thing about being a teacher is that you get (for example) a fortnight's holiday over Easter to catch up with the chores. The less great thing is that, because of having lots of marking and stuff to do in termtime, you need it. I've just been moving things in my kitchen that have sat still for a while and discovering - oh, nothing that horrible - escaped sweetcorn kernels and such like. We have quite a big kitchen with lots of surfaces where people dump things that they plan to think about later, such as bank statements, offers for oh-so-special customers and forms that need complicated information such as National Insurance numbers. Well, it's all gone. My extremely tidy sister-in-law arrives tomorrow and my co-mother-in-law the day after, and the kitchen is inspectable. I just need to do the rest of the house this afternoon.

Not right now, though. I'm off to collect the wedding cake.

Just before I go, I'd just like to record that it's lovely weather here today. Not warm, granted, but the sun is shining springlikely from a cornflower blue sky. What are the chances of this persisting for the next four days, till Daughter 1's wedding day?

Really? That slim?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Saving money on peddlestools

I have a horrible cold - the kind that makes your eyes and nose stream and your teeth ache and your face look like luncheon meat. My husband has this cold also. In his case, it makes him sneeze a lot, and being a man he tends to give sneezing his best efforts: "AAAAaaaWHOOOO!"

Our son got it first and we're desperate not to pass it on to Daughter 1, who gets married a week today, or Prospective Son-in-Law (ditto, of course), or Daughter 2, who is one of the bridesmaids. Daughter 2 arrived home from university down south only yesterday and we're so pleased to have her back that we want to cuddle her all the time. But, being infectious as well as loving parents, we're attempting to restrain ourselves.

I went yesterday to order flowers for the wedding. One of the ways we're saving money is by arranging the flowers ourselves. The flower shop lady was telling me that she'd just got back from doing the flowers for a wedding in town - £3,500 worth! I nearly collapsed. Five arrangements each costing £600, plus table arrangements.

That seems positively immoral to me.

This is a very thrifty wedding we're having. Think of the £55 I saved on my bag and add it to the £3,400 or so that we're not spending on flowers. We'll be rich.

A nice spelling error: I was marking an essay yesterday about a play in which a daughter idolises her father. Or, as the student, wrote: "Cassie puts her father on a peddlestool."