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Welcome to Afterwards

You won’t leave feeling affirmed or inspired but you might just crack a smile at something you shouldn’t, and that is okay because I wont tell anybody. Someone even laughed out loud once but then had to pretend it was something funny they read elsewhere because it was wholly inappropriate and they were a bit ashamed but mostly amused.

You won’t leave feeling affirmed or inspired but you might just crack a smile at something you shouldn’t, and that is okay because I wont tell anybody.  Someone even laughed out loud once but then had to pretend it was something funny they read elsewhere because it was wholly inappropriate and they were a bit ashamed but mostly amused.

This Great Field

words. mostly…

I remember it quite clearly

Pale sun painting frosted fields

And you at peace, to sadness yields

So many, loved so dearly

Butterscotch sweets in kilner jars

Full house, late nights, your Sunday roast

Full ashtrays I recall the most

What was, now framed like painted flowers

And years go by, the memories stronger

Each twisted branch still skyward growing

The things you handed down not knowing

That they would linger, loving, longer

And so the sequels spring to life

A library of stories new

And every one because of you

Mother, grandma, sister, wife

When time runs short

words. mostly…

When silver threads creak with first frost

And summer thought in mists are lost

I wonder if you’ll count the cost

Or blindly hide from reason

When nights bleed into shortened days

And stars no longer light your way

So willingly you choose to stray

and blindly protest treason

No one to watch, no one to keep

Your candle burning while you sleep

And memories sink into the deep

Lost in the cold, dark freezing

Your stories ink washed from the page

And meekly without pain or rage

The curtain falls on empty stage

At closing of your season

My wellbeing journey – January Results

It’s weigh in day…drum roll please…

You can read the kick off post here

So, for January I set out to only eat between 12 and 6, to eat around 2000 calories a day and do 10000 steps. Simple right? So let’s get straight to the results shall we.

On the fasting front it was a bit hit and miss. I stopped using the ‘Fastic’ app when my phone broke and I think the lack of accountability (to the app) made me focus less so I missed quite a few days. Mostly I tend to just forget and I will be making breakfast for the family and suddenly I am munching on something purely by accident. Although there was the day I ate a whole box of fudge. That wasn;t an accident. I did it on purpose. I meant to do it. I wanted to do it. There was no way I could resist so I didn’t even try. Sorry, not sorry.

On the calories front I mostly averaged about 2 thousand. The Hello Fresh meals are helping me track more accurately and I use the Samsung Health tracker to record everything that goes in. There have been days when I haven;t done so well but I always try and recover the next day and don’t let one bad day ruin my efforts. There have been days when I ate a lot of cake, or a greasy takeaway or maybe I had a few beers that might have pushed my totals but I am happy with where I am in my head when it comes to food and that’s the important thing for me.

Steps was probably my biggest success and I did 1000 for the first few days but actually upped the target to 12000 as was pretty much doing this without too much effort. I did manage 20000 one day when instead of sitting at my desk for an hour long boring work call I walked on the treadmill for an hour on a boring work call. I am going to try and do more of that this month and have a target of 15000 a day. the majority of that will be done on the treadmill I think.

So before I tell you my weight loss, there were a few more things I challenged myself to do. Firstly I intend to finish a book each month, and by ensuring I read X number of pages a day I got through Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. I am a huge fan of the show and thought I ought to read the book. It left me feeling…hmmm…I will write more about that later I think. I felt stuff though, and that’s a good thing right.

I also tried to tie up television loose ends. Might sound daft but sometimes I get frustrated having started things and not finishing them so I made a concerted effort to finish a few things I had started. And it felt good. Perhaps it’s strange to think of watching TV as an achievement but it felt good none the less.

I finished Silicon Valley, which pretty much made me cry and I finished the Mandalorian Series 1 which makes me all warm and happy that it exists.

Oh and I tried to blog every day. I missed a day or two I think but mostly really happy with where I got to with that.

So all in all a good month. And I lost 5KG/11 LBS.

This month it’s very much the same, Food, steps, fast, watch, write but I also need to spend more time with the boys. We are all cooped up in the house together so it’s easy to take things for granted but they are getting older now and very easy to let a day go by and not really interact in a meaningful way, so I will attempt to do something about that.

So there you go. That was January.

Onwards to February!

Theodore Rufus Doggington the 1st. Out and about.

These boots are made for walking

This dog certainly has me out and about. I thought they just laid in front of the fire eating bones. No one warned me about this.

So I try do 10000 steps a day and have actually upped it because of how often Ive been able to spend time out and about with him. I’m conscious that he is still young, and Labradors have issues with their hips so you have to be careful not to overwalk them, but even with a limit on the time I take him out I am getting so much more exercise than I have for years.

And bloody hell I am knackered. In a good way. My legs ache, my feet hurt, I’m often cold and wet but definitely feeling better for it.

Plus I feel far more comfortable eating chocolate brownies for breakfast when I know I am off out for a walk and he will want to go out in the garden in a bit to play or do some training.

Living the dream eh.

Oh bugger, just remembered there’s a bag of poo in my coat pocket…

Happy weekend people 🙂

PHOTOS FROM JANUARY

My wellbeing journey – The Tree Edition

I think you might want to read this one. It’s not what you think. Or just look at the pictures.

You can read the kick off post here

I’ve written plenty about food and steps and sweating and eating cake in your underpants (well not an entire cake – it was more of a fruit loaf – so potentially 1 of my 5 a day) , but I’ve not written much about the mental health side of things.

That is mostly because I am not at all qualified to discuss such matters.

I know what I like though, and I know what makes me happy. And I know it is important to find happiness wherever we can in these upside down times. So to that end, and this is very exciting, we decided to leave the Christmas tree up all year! Kind of…

What we have left up is the tree with the lights on it. But the decorations have changed. Still with me?

It was suggested to me by someone at work, I think as a joke, that you could leave your tree up all year but just decorate it for whatever season it is or whatever takes your fancy.

Well people, joke or not, I give you – THE VALENTINES TREE!

I spend most of my day here in the converted cellar of the house, it’s where I work from home and at night it is where the family tends to congregate. We have decked the halls a little as well as doing the tree so right now it’s…well look – see what you think?

Might seem a bit daft but it gives me great pleasure and we are already looking forward to Easter, Family Birthdays, Star Wars (may the fourth (be with you)), Summer, Halloween, the Queen’s Birthday and who knows what else…

Happy (not) holidays indeed

My wellbeing journey – Fit by 50 – 26th of January 2021

Get fresh at the weekend…

You can read the kick off post here

I like to cook. Not as much as I like to eat, but obviously one tends to come before the other. Do it the other way round and you’re likely to suffer from Ecoli or bum worms or something equally horrid.

Anyway, lockdown has meant that I am cooking even more than ever and the youngest one day sent me a link explaining all about Hello Fresh and why it would be a good idea. I think they were growing tired of the same old stuff and to be honest they were probably right. I have a set number of things I can cook, and whilst I own a whole load of cook books, I often just revert to what I know for sake of expediency.

So given find it hard to say no to my children on most things we were signed up in a flash.

If you haven’t seen Hello Fresh before it is a service where they send you just enough food to make a certain number of meals each week (including recipe cards). You pick the meals by a certain day, from a selection of about thirty on an app, and a few days later a box arrives. Seems simple really.

I’d like to say I did research, compared prices, made a considered choice. I’d also like to say I am 6ft tall and look great in skinny jeans. Neither of these things are true. I am compulsive and often wasteful and were I to don skinny jeans I imagine my legs would look like sausage skins that had been overfilled.

So anyway the box arrives and my first thought was “ooh that looks nice”. There were pots of spices and saches of sauce, all carefully portioned out , and the meat and veg looked fresh and clean. My second thought was “Im going to be rather hungry “. No way was this enough food for three people (me and the boys) for 4 meals. (Mrs Afterwards is not partaking as she is vegetarian and her favourite flavour is bland, so it was not for her.)

The youngest is now in charge of cooking everything (small hands make light work, right?), so we get stuck in and whip up the first meal. The recipe cards are easy to follow and in no time at all we have ourselves sea bream and rice and bits of greenery and veg strewn through it.

And it was gorgeous. And shockinlgy there was plenty of it. I would definitely have bought twice as much to make this meal and likely thrown a lot away, or it would have sat in the fridge spoiling. So when it comes to saving on waste its definitely a winner.

The ingredients were all really good and with the exception of a lemon that was as dry as Queen Victoria’s dirty love trumpet (I don’t know why I added the word dirty there – that in itself feels rather dirty) and a potato that looked like a Syphilitic Jimmy Nail. (Though it might actually have come from Morrisons Supermarket as I did mix the potatoes up – so I could be being unfair.) I like the idea of not having to have loads of bottles of things like hoisin sauce and soy sauce and tubs of sesame seeds and such. I have just enough for the meals and that works for me. I still have a bottle of fish sauce going back about 12 months that I have no idea what to do with. What the hell is it even? I guess the name says it all but still, who the devil needs a sauce made out of fish. Sounds horrid.

I don’t have a picture of the Queen’s lady garden so this will have to do. Jimmy nail below for comparison to the smug looking spud.

So you want to know about price right? Well I got a huge discount of the first box and significant ones on the next lot so it was only about £25 for the week. At full price it will come in at about £3.70 a meal I think. Whilst I could do it cheaper if I shopped I am sure, this is still not much off the cost of one of those meal deals at our local Co-Op store. There it’s £3.50 I think for a sandwich, crisps and a coke.

So balancing up cost, ease of us, reduction in waste and not forgetting deliciousness and variety I am absolutely sold on it. Throw in how involved my youngest has been about cooking (though he now wants his own knife set!) I think I am sold on it most definitely. There are apparently other services out there like Gusto, which I might try, but for the next few weeks I shall be getting the most out of this and hopefully trying loads of new things I would never have bought otherwise.

Oh and calories. I forgot about that. Obviously I am mindful of what I put into this flabby, balding and mostly dilapidated temple of mine. The menus are pretty clear about what this costs when it comes to my calorie deficit efforts and with light versions available (less than 600 calories) and even the cheesier and meatier options we have had coming in at around 800 calories I am more than happy defiling this wobbly shrine of mine with it’s delicious goodness.

Bon appetit!

Oh and I will slip this in at the end. Not because I want you to but because you can if you want to, it’s really up to you. Your experience with it might be awful so I take no responsibility for it. But, if you want £20 off your first box then there’s a link below. I get £20 too. That said I imagine there are better deals out there as I got 60% off my first box and 35% off my next 3 just by searching online.

Forever

Dirty. But if you read it out loud in a posh english voice it could almost be poetic I guess…

What once were endless summer days, and tender nights not counted

Sweetest whispers, love unbridled, days drift by embraced

And 69 more ways your soft pink flesh was nightly mounted

And your skin glowed with the blush of love’s seed spilled upon your face

The heart quickened, loins wet, thickened, hair pulled, lost souls intertwined

Gimp mask, red room, 12 inch pseudo love meat, I am yours and you are mine.

So spent, we lay in sheets soiled with the remnants of our love

we fit like trains into a tunnel, like large hand into small glove

And when no lube can dampen, when blue pills can not revive

Will we shuffle from this mortal coil, our passions still alive

Somewhere far beyond these night time stars that we once watched together,

Shall our memories drift slowly into inky black forever

________________________

Oh come on, it’s saturday, why not do something a little different.

The first 2 lines and the last two are kind of sweet I think.

Happy weekend you cheeky monkeys!

Theodore Rufus Doggington the 1st. The circle of life.

Let me count the ways…

I think we all know that broadly you get out of life what you put in. It’s probably obvious to everyone with a dog that it applies very much to pooch ownership. Want a bell behaved dog? Spend time training him. Want him to not chew…well ,literally everything…then ensure he has chew toys and that you work hard to understands from an early age what is appropriate to chew and what is not.

(As you can see above, Theo is a huge fan of chewing loo rolls and yesterday I neglected to close the bathroom door and in just a few minutes he had shredded a couple he had got his pesky paws on.)

Anyway, back to my point.

Nowhere is the idea better demonstrated when it comes to dealing with what comes out of the other end to the end where things go in. It’s a curiously satisfying thing to have a dog with firm stools as it makes the pick up particularly easy. When we chose food for him I bought the best possible dry food I could so I am not feeding him any old stuff filled with sawdust and horse testicles. It’s the good stuff, so I am immensely proud when those dark chocolate coloured logs drop out and leave no residue when whisked from the pavement.

Conversely, I am filled with dread when faced with attempting to somehow cajole something akin to Christmas trifle into a small plastic bag whilst the dog stands by with a look on his face which says “Good luck with that fat boy, you got any sausages in your pocket?”

You know those artistic folk who do the wonderful chalk drawings on the pavements? Well imagine me as that artist. Instead of bright pastel colours and a picture of a young girl with a balloon or a unicorn majestically traversing a rainbow, my medium of choice is mustard coloured dog shit and I am smearing a hellish faecal vision on the pavements of Halifax which I have called “The benefits of fibre”.

So alas I must reduce the amount of human goodness he has been enjoying and be a more responsible owner. Well until he looks at me with those big brown eyes which demand the finest of delicacies be served up for his pleasure…

🙂

Happy Wednesday!

My wellbeing journey – Fit by 50 – 16th of January 2021

An update for you…Happy weekend!

You can read the kick off post here

This week it’s been all about steps. 10000 a day to be precise.

It’s been snowing and rather icy so chances to get outside have been limited given that whilst the dog enjoys it there does come a point where he is thinking “Bloody hell, just go out on your own its awful out there.”

I’ve had to hit the treadmill a few times, especially one night when it was bed time and I still had 3000 to go. Not be be defeated I fired up the Reebok Jet 300 and got to walking. Wanting to hurry things up I sped things up a little and tried a bit of running. It’s really rather tiring and I still have quite a lot of jiggly bits so also not the most pleasant of experiences. Anyway so I ran for a while then somehow settled into another walk that was actually faster than I was running. Faster and faster it went until I panicked thinking I was about to fall, be knocked out and as I was not wearing the safety cut off chord I would be found dead in the morning, half of me grated away into a bloody pulp.

Plus I would have missed my 10000 steps, so I slowed it down, put on something to walk and marched mindlessly until the counter ticked over…goal achieved!

Annoyingly I did actually miss it one day. I had taken my watch off in the morning and probably missed a couple of thousand so was again a tad short. Only about a thousand. It was snowing outside and the dog looked at me with his “F*ck off and go walk yourself eyes” so I hit the treadmill and got myself within 50 or so steps of my target. Now I know I could have hit my target with another minute or so of walking but I was feeling the dog’s mood so didn’t, instead figuring the steps to bed woukld knock the remainder on the head.

Alas I did not check and in the morning I was 7 steps short. 7. So very annoying indeed. Ok so I know I did more than 10000 in the day with how many I hadn’t recorded in the morning but my smart watch does not. It simply looks at me with the judgemental look on it’s watch face as if to say, “Yeah, slacker, that’s why you have such lovely man boobs.”

Screw you smart watch!

Happy weekend people, here’s a few photos from our snow walks…