I’ve put “ice grips for shoes” on my Christmas list, to try and stop me falling down some very slippery slopes as the festive season approaches. After last week’s “chips and other stuff” debacle, I got home on Tuesday thoroughly disappointed with myself for such a spectacular calorie car crash, using Wednesday to Friday to try and reduce the muffin top that had rapidly appeared about my person. Every time I walked past the scales that sit threateningly beside my bed, I could also see Diet Yoda wagging his long, thin, green finger and rolling his eyes at me. “Well, Jedi, I guess 11 weeks wasn’t so bad, considering it’s you…”.
Half of me just wanted to write off the past 7 days and not bother even weighing myself, but that would be denial. Digressing, is all part of the journey, and even if it makes me feel crap, I just have to accept that, occasionally, I’m going to slip up, just like we do in anything in life. So, bugger it, it happened, and it happened a bit more at the weekend. So what.
Saturday (and back The Olds’ @ Mossley Hill Towers), I was wide awake at Stupid O’Clock (3.30am), a little bit depressed that I’d had to cancel a weekend in London with friends, because I just didn’t have the cash, or time. But at least it meant I got a good bit of work done by about 8am, when I think I fell asleep again. Re-awakening at 9.30am, with the laptop stuck to my face, I remembered my cousin, Caro, was in the neighbourhood, getting her hair chopped. She lives in Wigan (not her choice), but always comes back to Liverpool to get a hair cut. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
So we’d arranged to “do lunch” on Allerton Road and catch up on family gossip. We decided to try The Interesting Eating Company, an independent cafe that seemed to offer something a little different to the usual coffee, cake and fry-ups. I usually dread eating away from the safety of my own fridge, because no matter where I go, I can just never find anything to eat that doesn’t contain my own weight in calories. After perusing a menu that was, indeed, “interesting”, I exerted every ounce of willpower left inside me to avoid the mozzarella and meatball toastie, and go for the poached chicken and strawberry salad, instead. Caro, too, was ultra-good, and had the roasted vegetable salad, both very good value at the strange price of £5.97. To add to our collective smugness, we also ordered two pots of “interesting tea”; one Moroccan Mint, one Masala Chai. There was definitely something other than tea leaves in my pot, I’m telling you. Within 10 minutes, I felt like I’d just taken ten lovely industrial Co-Cocodamols. This wave of calmness engulfed me, from top to toe, and I just wanted to hug everyone. Before we left, I asked – nay, demanded – that they sell me some of this miraculous tea to take away with me, but they said they “didn’t have a licence to”. I didn’t know you had to have a licence to sell tea, but I guess if it was as trippy as the Moroccan Mint, then yeah, that would need to be controlled.
I left, disappointed, but no matter, as I shall be burgling the place sometime this week, to get my fix. Also, as Caro and I left, the bad devil on our shoulders both pointed out the homemade pumpkin cheesecake that was sitting on the counter right by the till (cunning…cunning….). I’m not a sweet person, whichever way you want to read that, but there is one dessert that I’ll often make room for, and that’s cheesecake. No surprise why. And Caro, well, she hasn’t so much got a sweet tooth, as shares in Tate & Lyle. Still, we resisted temptation, and mosied on up Allerton Road for a mooch about. But there was only one thing we were both thinking about and, as we crossed the road and walked back along the other side, ostensibly to mock the overpriced ‘gifts’ and poncy ‘homeware’, in Voglio, we just looked at one another, wondering who would be first to crack.
“You’re thinking about the cheesecake, aren’t you?” said Caro. “Uh-huh.” came my shameful, loathsome reply. Sixty seconds later, we were back at the counter of The Interesting Eating Company, purchasing two take out portions of pumpkin cheesecake (don’t need a licence to sell that evidently…), that were packed into two of those polystyrene boxes you get in chippies. It looked like we were walking home with two giant kebabs which, when you consider that each slice of this cheesecake worked out at 436 calories, kebabs would have been the healthier option. But yes, it was divine. And naturally, it was all Caro’s fault.
Add in the next day’s Sunday dinner with all the trimmings, plus lots of wine (which is LFC’s fault, not mine), and it was a case of “OK, bugger this weekend, start again Monday”.
Now it’s Monday. I am back in the safety of my apartment, with nothing to give me an excuse to sin until at least Thursday. Last week of the month is always stressful. It’s when I have to give a million pounds to a million people, and of course I never, ever have it. I think I’ve done it this month, though, just, and I’ve worked so hard that I will have the luxury to spend at least two days this week on scripts. Two whole days. It almost feels like I’m skiving, if I’m not writing travel articles for 10p an hour.
Things I’ve Learned This Week
1. It takes a fortnight to put on the weight you know is due to you
My mum told me this. I was moaning (for a change), about how I’d been so bad recently. Chips, more chips, gravy, sausage, tons of alcohol, tapas, sandwiches, crisps, cheese, a bit more cheese, cheeseCAKE…etc etc, yet on my weekly weigh-in, I’d only put on one pound. “Ah…” said mum, “But you do know that it takes 14 days for all that to properly process in your body, don’t you? On Saturday, you’ll probably put on half a stone, regardless of how good you are this week…”. Thanks, mum….
2. Moroccan Mint Tea should be available on prescription
I’ve googled and eBayed it, seeing as the cafe refuse to allow it off their premises, and although I can find plenty of the stuff, it’s NOT the Brew Tea Co. brand, and that’s the only one I want…
3. Doing the weekly shop with a heavy rucksack on your back is not a good idea
I was so determined to just get home from mum’s, and lock the door behind me so I could recoup some angel points, but didn’t want to have to go out again to shop (I’m very, very lazy). So I went the supermarket on the way home. But with four days worth of stuff in my rucksack, plus my laptop, it was a train wreck…
Stupid, stupid idea….
4. Aldi carrier bags are the worst in the world
“Dear Aldi, it’s long been a dream of mine to go into one of your stores and buy way more than I can actually carry home. To make this dream even more unforgettable, I was thinking you could make your plastic bags so thin, that they’ll rip as soon as my fingers grip the handles. Even better, although this might be pushing it, would it also be possible for you to make me pay for the carrier bags, too? What…you can do all of this? Wow, thanks so much, Aldi, I’ll be sure to come back real soon! Lots of love…. xxxx”
5. BBC’s “Hunted” made no sense at all
I’m amazed I managed to make it to the end of this series, amazed further that it got 8 episodes, when it could easily have made do with 4. But I guess, when you’re Frank Spotnitz, you can demand as many episodes as you like. Seriously, though, can anyone sum up that last episode for me? The amount of unanswered questions and loose ends were obviously lining us up for a second series, but that’s a little arrogant because, from what I hear, the BBC have decided not to do one. So….ANSWERS PLEASE!
a) Who was Stubby-Fingered Man?
b) Why was it so easy to blackmail Zoe?
c) What was Juliet Aubrey’s character all about?
d) Why did “they” kill Sam’s mother?
e) Is Juliet Aubrey actually Sam’s mother?
f) What is Adam’s real identity and why would it mean Sam would never trust him again?
g) Do they seriously expect us to believe that Sam Hunter just spent the last 8 weeks not even thinking about her baby, the one she didn’t really lose? If so, she’s got seriously skewed priorities…
h) Why does Melissa George pout so much?
i) Why do I care?
Things I’m Dreading This Week
1. Getting writer’s block
I’ve got two whole days to dedicate to stuff I really want to make headway on, or finish. 48 hours to do nothing but script, is such a luxury, but it’s not something you can just turn on, like articles or features or reviews. Scriptwriting is intense and all-consuming, and you need to be ‘there’. If you’re not, there’s nothing you can do about it. I need Moroccan Mint Tea, and I need it now.
2. The Saturday scales…
Not so much dreading, more utterly phobic, about Saturday’s post-binge weigh-in. There is one tiny silver-lining, though. I’m going to Ma Egerton’s grand re-opening on Thursday night so, chances are, I’m going to be extremely hungover on Friday, which means I’ll consume no calories whatsoever until Saturday.
This Week I’ve Mostly Been Watching…
A new featurette, which I thought might be helpful to anyone who watches as much telly and films as I do, even though I don’t actually have a telly. Did you know that you don’t need a TV licence if you don’t watch live telly? Well, you don’t. So if you’re a catcher-upper, like me, or are just allergic to adverts, punditry, and endless hours of “filler”, save yourself a few quid by telling Dave and the BBC where to stick their licence fee. Sleep safe in the knowledge that you’re no longer lining the pockets of greedy twats and paedophiles (allegedly).
1. The Amazing Race Season 9/30 Rock Season 2
Well, I would be watching these, if Antoine next door could get his broadband fixed…hurry up!
2. The Godfather Trilogy
Everyone should watch this in its entirety, every year.
3. American Horror Story: Asylum
Jessica Lange stole just about every scene in Season 1. Just starting out on this one, got 8 eps to overdose on, so no spoilers, please, Jonathan….
4. Blue Bloods Season 3
It’s rubbish, utter rubbish. It’s about a family of New York ‘cops’, and their sister, who just happens to the D.A.. Led by ‘maverick’ (obviously) Donnie Wahlberg, they save the world, on their own, every single week, then all get around the Sunday dinner table to say prayers and give sanctimonious thanks to God that they’re better than everyone else on the planet. But it’s got Tom Selleck’s moustache in it, which has an allure and acting ability all its own. Unmissable.
5. The Cleaner Season 1
Still working through this, because each episode takes ages to download – which is why I usually only watch box sets, so I am not kept waiting. Being a huge Ben Bratt fan, having to wait so long between eps is a bit like showing me a whole mountain of Edam, but only feeding me one bite every three weeks.
6. The Good Wife/Grey’s Anatomy/NCIS
It’s basically one show rolled into one, but I do like to have ‘Trash Night” where I can just watch stuff I don’t have to think about. NCIS used to be good, seriously, it did, but even with my Agent Gibbs obsession, the last three seasons, at least, have been poor. They’ve realised the characters have nowhere else to go, but all they need to do is bring back the darkness and edginess of Seasons 1-5. Today, it’s just fluff – lazy storylines, very bad dialogue, and cliches-a-plenty. Soon, even Gibbs won’t be able to rescue it. “Rule No.17, Tony….always know when to stop flogging the dead horse…”
7. Homeland Season 2
Yes, it’s completely unbelievable, but who cares? It’s great drama, and one of the few shows that keeps surprising me, even if that daughter needs a seriously hard slap. More twists and turns that a twisty-turny thing.
The Stats Bit:
Weeks 1-4: 8.75lbs
Weeks 5-8: 5.25lbs
Week 9: plus 0.75lbs – first week of weight gain.
Week 10: 1.75lbs
Week 11: 1lb
Week 12: plus 1lb – d’oh.
Total after 84 days: 15lbs