My Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs is 70 this week. If you’re unfamiliar with the programme, it’s broadcast every Sunday on BBC Radio 4. Guests are interviewed about their life, and choose eight pieces of music, one book & one luxury they couldn’t live without if they were stranded on a desert island.


I was reading a blog post written by Jayne Howarth this afternoon, where she thought about what her choices would be, and it got me thinking – what would mine be?


Pachabel’s Canon has to be on the list. I walked down the aisle to this when I got married. It’s a deceptively simple piece of music that grows and develops the themes & instruments used. And it’s beautiful.

Prodigy – Breathe – here I agree with one of Jayne’s choices. As soon as I hear it, I’m a student, dancing my socks off at the union bar.

Blur – Parklife – another song that instantly evokes a memory of my sixth form years at school, and that whole period of Britpop.

Green Day – Basket Case – I am in the car with my friend, bombing down the Southport coast road, windows down on our way home from working at Southport Pleasureland. I was 18, between school & university, and it was SUCH a fun summer!

Elbow – One Day Like This – the violins swell. The back of my neck prickles. When the line “throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year would see me right” kicks in, it evokes such a vivid image of joy I’m blown away every single time.

A-Ha – Take On Me – my first musical loves. Morton Harkett *swoon*

Horrible Histories – Kings & Queens – an odd choice at first glance, but every time me and my family hear it, we join in, sing along and grin. Plus, it’s educational!

Mitch Benn – I’m Proud of the BBC – Mitch Benn wrote this when the BBC was under attack about whether it is value for money. The song lists all the amazing TV and Radio shows produced by the BBC – he makes it funny, rabble rousing and it does make me proud of the BBC. I cannot listen to it without smiling.


This is a difficult one, as I have eclectic reading tastes.

Jane Austen’s collected works? Shakespeare’s collected works?
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein?

In the end, I’ve gone for the collected works of Jasper Fforde – his books are funny, quirky, thought provoking, odd and smattered through with elements of all of the other books I thought about.

Luxury Item

This is tricky. Wine, chocolate, iPhone, kindle, laptop, husband all crossed my mind.

In the end, though, I can cope with nearly everything in life, even being stranded on a desert island, if I’ve slept well! So my luxury has to be my bed!

What would you take??

You can find Jayne Howarth on twitter.


Steak, Spam & Birthday Cake!

Well what a week!

I’ve kept up with planning and tracking my meals and snacks, and this week I’ve lost 2 1/2 lbs making a total of 6 1/2lbs all together.

I’m delighted with this, as although the week has been controlled and routine, last weekend was not!

My parents treated me & my husband to a night out as part of our Christmas present, which was a meal at a nice restaurant and tickets to see Spamalot .

So I got dolled up and off we went. It was a brilliant night. I had the most delicious steak at the restaurant (as well as wine), and then the show was brilliant! So silly and the two leads, Marcus Brigstock & Jodie Prenger were great.

The next day was dad’s 61st birthday, so we went out for a lovely family lunch. We went to a carvery, which is great because you have control of your portions. It’s also a problem, as you’re in control of your portions. I piled my plate high!!! But, a miracle occurred. I stopped eating when I was full & left food on my plate! This is a victory for me as I don’t like to waste food.

Unfortunately, I was a little unwell that afternoon, as I’d inadvertently triggered my lactose intolerance. A side effect of this was I wasn’t able to eat the wonderful looking birthday cake mum had made as it was made with fresh cream.

It looked fabulous though, and the kids enjoyed decorating it with as many candles as they could – 53!


So I’ll take my 2 1/2lb loss as the victory it is. Now, where’s the cake?

Every Little Counts

Week 2 of my new year’s promise to myself to myself has come round.

I’ve had another good week, planning meals & snacking properly on fruit and veg.

On Wednesday, me & my husband planned in a Chinese take away & a bottle of wine, our weekly treat night as with 2 small(ish) children we don’t go out much.

What I’d forgotten when we planned this in, I’d arranged to go out for lunch with a colleague for his birthday. Luckily, the menu for the Thai restaurant is on line so I could make a sensible (but yummy) choice!

So, given that I had a Chinese, a Thai & only did 15 minutes on the exercise bike, I was delighted with a 1/2lb loss this week.

This brings the total to 4lb, and an average of 2lb a week, which I think is steady & sensible.

Week 3 is starting with a weekend away and a meal out, but I’m confident I can manage to enjoy myself and eat properly.



A Dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts & a Rack of Ribs



Well week one of my new year’s promise to myself is done.

I went to my WeightWatchers meeting and I’m delighted!

I’ve lost 3 and 1/2 lbs this week.

(I know WW doesn’t suit everyone, but I need the discipline of structure & routine and I enjoy the camaraderie of the meetings.)

So I’ve meal planned, weighed quantities and got on my (exercise) bike.

So onto week 2 with a smile and a song!

I leave you with this list of funny things to compare weight loss to:

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11″)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4″)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony

New Year, Old Me

Happy New Year! It’s 1st January 2012.

Everyone is starting to think about resolutions, new year, new me.

This is not something I’d normally do, as I don’t believe you can change who you are, only how you behave. And I’m very aware that part of who I am is low self control. And if I can’t say no to a glass of wine & a chocolate bar, how can I stick to a resolution.

But for me, therein lies the problem. Over the years, this lack of self control, plus two (beautiful) children, I have become unhealthily over weight.

This is not something I’m happy about, and I began to take action. I lost two stones, and started running and swimming. I felt good and my confidence levels were through the roof. Then along came the summer holidays, and my routine was disrupted. This was the excuse my low self control was looking for – and a mental note to restart after the holidays got lost in the jumble of family life.

I have not stood on the scales, but my clothes tell me that I’ve regained most, if not all, of the weight back on.

I am cross with myself, because I feel self conscious and awkward. I also do not want my active and healthy children to see me as a role model and lose their get up & go.

So this new year, I’m not making a resolution, I’m making a promise to myself:

I will end 2012 healthier than I started it