Arabic Sweet

Learning to be more serene...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


It is sad and yet exciting as the neighbourhood is set to change...

The other day, I was on my way back from a long day shopping, weary and heavy laden, musing how much I loved this neighbourhood, when I nearly got knocked over by a skateboarder. 'James!' I exclaimed in a quizzical manner. He stopped to chat.

James. Ah. An impossibly well constructed young man, he stands around six feet tall, with thick dark hair, the physique of an Olympian god, and to cap it all, he's French.

'Tis a pity he is only 19, but it gives me the opportunity as an older woman to get closer up to him than I would have had I only been 17. Needless to say, our brief yet inconsequential chat made my evening, and I swear I was floating around the corner when I bumped into my other neighbours.

Number 53 are moving to a galaxy far far away. But, I greeted them on the doorstep of our houses, told them I would return within the minute with some baked delicacies, and proceeded to consume several cups of tea round theirs whilst marvelling at the current state of flux they had been living in. Needless to say, by the end of my little visit, not only had I inspected both pregnant cats and felt their soon to be offspring squirming away in there, but I had made friends with some random children who were up far past their bedtime, and been groped and cuddled by my crazy redheaded neighbour who for some reason was riotously drunk and wandering around in her matching leopardskin nightie and robe, and I didn't object to a single bit of it!

They say good things come in threes.

So, I get an email from a chap I know through another girl who has subsequently moved away, you get the picture... He's been living with his brand new girlfriend and I take it things have got a little, um, cosy. He hasn't specifically said any of this, but I heard on the grapevine that he'd only just started seeing her before moving his stuff in. Nevertheless, I bumped into him in town a few weeks ago and we exchanged emails, or maybe he always had mine but never used it? Well, he writes saying that he's moving to town, which is exciting in itself. But not only that, after a barrage of quick one liners, we ascertain that he is in fact moving about three houses down. It is crazy! So, off with one neighbour who is a new friend, and in with another neighbour who is an oldish one! Crazy!

My life is getting fun!

Friday, March 24, 2006

New Flat!

Oh yeah, forgot to tell you. I've now moved in (one and a bit months ago) to a new flat!!! yay!!! It is so gorgeous, and I feel totally settled now. I still keep going, 'I can't find that book!' and 'I'm sure I had a file with that stuff in it!' it is a little frustrating, but I'm sure I will recoup my losses once I've organised my office a little better!

Plus it is official - I can fit 10 people on the sofa... hurrah! Here is a little sneak peek. I can't wait to get some pictures up on my sparkly gold wall...



Well, my next door neighbour has three cats: two black and white females and a big ginger and white male. The females are both pregnant - YAY!!! I'm so excited, I could pop!

I went round to the neighbour's yesterday and placed my request - I said I would like a ginger one. The only problem is that they might be moving in two weeks, and then where will I be? I must make sure I get their number, becuase I'd be happy to drive to Oxford to get a little kitty in a couple of months time!

Dreaming nicely...


I don't know why, but how come I seem to sabotage my best efforts to get anywhere with my weight loss? I've only lost half a stone since November and it is now the end of March. It is starting to upset me. I've had two good weeks and two bad weeks in a row, the bad weeks have almost totally overwritten my good weeks.

The thing that disappoints me most of all is that I know I can do it, because I've done it before, but every time I don't do it, it plants a seed of doubt in my head.

Having said that, I recently calculated all of the 'points' that I had eaten in a week, or rather, I have 21 points in a week to spend on what I like that isn't on my 'free food' list. I calculated everything that I ate that wasn't on my free food list and, ahem, it came up to 161.5 points. Approximately. It could have been more?

At least I know this: If i manage a SUSTAINED effort, then I will reap results. The only problem is, you can't forsee the futre, can you? You just don't know if you're going to have a bad week. So what can I do to ensure that I always have a good week? That is the question, isn't it?
How do I condition my house, my brain, my thought processes, my habits, my life, so that invariably a good week will ALWAYS be had? On an ongoing basis. Because I don't want to struggle with this anymore. I've struggled all my life, and if I can make this last final push... why is it always the final stretch so difficult?

I just can't get away with it anymore. I've got to be really strict with myself. REALLY. Because I know that it works. I just hope I can do it for long enough... and my resolve at the moment seems fairly flimsy, not in intent, but in evidence. So clearly, resolve isn't good enough if it is about intent. It has to be more than that. It has to come out of the firmest belief, and I guess at the bottom of it all, I really believe I can get away with it. So, change my belief, change my behaviour.

Easier said than done, eh? Change change change... at least SOME things stay the same...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Long Time No Write

Well, what can I say? So much has changed over the last few months and as I sit here tapping away, I am currently mid-way through an awakening of sorts. Since December, I have been holding down a new full-time job which is absolutely delightful and I feel quite suited to it. I feel like I'm in a brilliant position to make some good career choices. Financially I'm not feeling a massive pinch, although I have bought (with the help of my folks) a flat and am settling in quite nicely. I feel rather grown up!

I have a boyfriend, which is strange, and I've managed to maintain a 3 stone weightloss for several months now, and I'm still losing.

The biggest change is in the way that I see myself, and in the way that I perceive others to see me. The fact that I am now of relatively normal weight means that I do not label myself as 'the fat sidekick' and as a result for the first time in my life feel like I'm level pegging with people. It probably sounds strange, but it has been something that is of great importance to me. And surprisingly enough, I find that not only am I on level pegging in my own perception, but in fact I'm doing rather well. Not particularly in comparison to everyone else, but rather, I've come to accept that whatever issues I have are all a part of life, and I'm not greatly disadvantaged at all in any way.

Funny how you end up thinking sometimes.

In addition, I'm starting to think that I'm a little bit more liberal than I thought I was. I mean, I've had all these thoughts and attitudes that have restricted my behaviour, becuase I've believed that if I say I am something, I should behave like that something. But what I'm coming to realise is that my behaviour is inconsistent with what I say I am - this is frightening for me becuase it means that I'm not actually who I think I am. However, the person who I find myself to be is quite acceptable, therefore all i have to do is just learn to adjust the 'label' which I put on myself and adjust the expectations I have of myself to be more in line with what I can actually deliver.

It is all rather exciting, liberating and terrifying all at once. I kind of have this overarching feeling that I'm doing the wrong thing, but only becuase I've held myself to these impossibly high standards... There are still many issues that I have to work out and I've got to figure out how lenient to be with myself. There isn't an easy answer to many of the decisions that I can make, but ultimately no one else can make them for me. I think my biggest fear is that someone will be disapproving of my behaviour - my friends, mentors, internal parent; but to be honest, I find it much easier to be forgiving and less judgemental of others than I am of myself. Why is that?

I still expect high things of myself, and i'm finding it harder and harder to deliver. If I adjust my expectations, I become just like everyone else, struggling to do the best they can, oh my goodness, I might even have to admit that I'm human, open to the same trials and temptations as every other person on this planet/in my church!!!

So, from now on I'm going to discover what the most important thing is in life, and learn to be satisfied.

Having a pretty fun time, though, I think you'd like to know!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oh, weight update

OK, so for the record I've now lost about 38lb... (not including the 2lb I put on last week and not including the weight I'm likely to have put on this week too...) oops!

That is two and three quarter stone!!! excitement! So I'm well into the 11s now and I hope to be 11 stone by the end of the year. Here's hoping, anyhow. I think the new job might help, all those tight fitting clothes I need to feel comfy in...

Look out, here comes trouble!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Job, New Me

I've got a new job organising a bunch of IT geeks into the next millenium. It starts next week, I'm not really sure what to expect. It should be fun, but I've decided to disarm them by insisting that I wear only skirts to the office. I've decided that I should invest in my femininity and due to my recent weight loss, have had to alter all my work clothes!

It has been quite fun restructuring jackets and making flared skirts straight. I even borrowed some clothes off my next door neighbour, enough to see me through the season and into the next clothes size down!!! I love the fact that so much of her stuff suits me!

I even borrowed clothes off my mum. I can't believe for the first time in my life I think I weight less than she does! Hopefully that will be an ongoing trend, and soon I won't be able to fit into ANYTHING in her wardrobe!!!

Well, apart from the fact that I lost the plot the last couple of weeks and ended up putting weight ON, I'm sure I'll take it off again the minute my job starts... so I'm not too worried about losing 10lb by the end of the year.

Well, that's it for now, might not have a chance to write for a while... hope everyone is well, and thanks for dropping by...

Relight my fire

OK, OK, this is one reason that I feel resourceful and tomboyish...

I set fire to my parents' kitchen last week... The shame of it all! I didn't know how to use their microwave and I think I hit a double setting of microwave plus convection for 25 mintues... RIP very nice spring rolls! Anyway, after the old, 'do you smell burning?' routine, I ran into the kitchen only to find the entire place full of thick white smoke! I could hardly see a thing and was scared that the microwave was going to explode or something! Anyway, C helped me find a tea-towel and I spent the next half an hour running about with a wet towel on my face trying to avoid asphixiation, with stinging eyes, jumping on counters, opening every window and door I could find, and airing the whole house out!

I think I distressed the next door neighbours by ringing at near on 10pm in an alarmed state requesting scented candles so that I could get rid of the smell of smoke which I had to do before the folks came home....

I must say, I felt rather proud of myself, the fact that I MacGyvered my way out of the situation, was calm in a crisis and as resourceful and adventurous as a girl could be. I only wished I'd had a jeep waiting outside that I could speed off into the sunset...

Worth the weight?

OK, so the last few weeks I've totally lost the plot. I seemed to have become a recluse or something. I don't want to leave my room, go anywhere or do anything. I'm happy in my own company or watching Stargate whilst altering clothing and 'preparing' for the new job I've got! I spent most of this week trawling through three series worth of MacGyver... ah, I do love that man's ingenuity (yeah right, that's what I love about him...)

Weight loss be damned, there is an old crush to re-ignite!!! And that's it. A man who influenced me more than I can imagine when I was growing up, has now come back to make me realise that the woman I have become is in part owed to him. God bless MacGyver, that's all I can say. We must forgive him his mullet, because the dimples in his cheeks by far outweigh the shame of the do. So, to the ride. I remember how I desperately wanted to carry a Swiss Army Knife (actually, at one point during my teens I remember owning one), wear desert boots, an old falling apart leather jacket, and drive a jeep. Ah, how young and naive I was to think that it would have been at all feminine to do such a thing!

How can I tell I've changed? I'll tell you in the next two posts...

All that is left for me to say is that re-kindle my long standing crush it did. It is quite scary to think I've had a crush on the man for near on twenty years!!!

Oh pants.

Glam Shot

OK, so C and me went for an afternoon of pampering and photo shooting in London last week. It was so much fun, and I proved to myself what a tart I was!!! I just love having my photo taken! OK, so some of them came out much better than the others, but I think I chose one which surprised me. It was a bit sexy to say the least, but it gave me the boost that I needed, and possibly the incentive to go on and lose more weight.

Stay tuned for pictures as and when they arrive in the post! I can't wait!

Four Weddings and I'm getting a bit bored now...

Actually, there have been more like seven this year, not to mention all the wedding dresses and bridesmaids I have corsetted into the next century. I'm starting to get a little fed up! I mean, I'm all for a good celebration, and yes, I cried at practically all of them. But I've seen enough confetti, heard enough speeches and gotten excited about enough table decorations to see me through till the next decade.

The thing is, after the last party, I got really quite upset, no less becuase I thought that the lack of interest from members of the opposite sex was a reflection of my attractiveness. How on earth do we deceive ourselves into believing that this is true? I suppose there are slim pickings in the social group I hang around in, not to mention the fact that four of the weddings I attended revovled around the same social group? Perhaps this is why it is so depressing - literally all my friends are getting married, and those young men who are left I've already eliminated for one reason or the other.

The question is, why do we expect so much when we go to weddings? I do love a good celebration, but there is nothing better to rub salt in the wound of singleness. OK, OK, to make singleness seem like a wound, then... There is nothing worse than showing up at a wedding dateless, but the fates are just not being kind to me this year.

My nerves had started to wear a little thin after the last one - one chap was rude to me, and another was making his discomfort about being in my presence quite clear, especially since he showed a bit of an interest at the last wedding! Well, I started to take things personally after that and got really rather upset. NOt only at their lack of manners, but no less the fact that it still wasn't my turn, even though I am an average of at least 5 years older than the other singletons around. I tried not to let it bother me, but I guess turning 30 and still lacking boyfriend has finally taken its toll.

On one hand, I know that this means that there are good things still to come. But the fact of weddings just makes me think, 'When?' and the more I go to, the less likely it seems, especially that I'm not meeting any new eligible batchelors.

My friend C says that I won't find a bloke until I'm totally happy with myself. But I'm not sure that is the reason, because there are so many people out there who aren't happy with themselves who still manage to find someone. Plus, I'm so much happier with myself than I used to be. And who is to say I'll ever be truly happy with myself? So if that logic prevails, then I will never meet anyone becuase there is always something still left to perfect.

So hogwash to all of that nonsense. I go through phases of getting upset about not having anyone, and it just seems that weddings make the feeling worse. Thank the Lord that this year has been an exceptional year for weddings and I won't have to go through it again next year. I guess I'll just have to hope that either I stop getting upset, or that I'll be next in line... what do you think?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Breathe IN!

OK, forgetting the expression on my face, this is my last wedding outfit. The beginning of September. So, I'm going to wear the same dress for a wedding at the end of October, and I was thinking how exciting it would be to compare notes. I shall post the two pics side by side when I get them. Anyway, hope you like it. I must do something different with my hair, though, it looks a bit funny. Well, just thought you'd like to see it... If I have any readership left at this point...

Ah well, that's it for now...

I don't know how, but I did it!!!

OK, so I've now officially lost TWO STONE! Read it and weep, people. I'm well on my way to being healthy and beautifully shaped!!! That is 14% of my bodyweight. 12 kilograms. A whopping 28lb of fat gone forever!!!

OK, so, what does this actually mean? Well, I thought I'd at least be fitting into the next clothes size down, but unfortunately that is not the case. I'm still wearing the same clothes, although admittedly they are ready to fall off at any minute. My trousers have grown so long that I keep tripping on them when I go dancing. But it is a small price to pay for being even more gorgeous than I was before.

The main victory is that I haven't weighed this little in about 9 years or so. can you imagine? I mean, I was about 12 stone when I started Uni in 1996 (I'm 12 st 3lb now), I had spent the previous summer losing about three stone quite rapidly. Anyway, I didn't stay at 12 stone for very long... and I never got below it. So, in fact, the last weight before that which I actually remember was when I was about 14, and not fully grown yet. I think I was 64kgs, around 10 and a half stone or so. So, anything under 12 stone is going to be exciting - I mean, it is all new territory. What is my grown up, womanly shape going to be like??? What will I end up as? How was I originally planned?

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tescos and I sure know how to pick em...

I like late night shopping. I like living in the town I live in. I like being me and knowing so many people.

Tonight I met a friend of mine who I used to have a massive crush on when we worked at the same place. He'd send me weak at the knees just by standing about three feet away from me. I had to hold on to the nearest sturdy object for support most of the time. Broke my heart not being able to be with him.

He's married now. I met his wife next to the two for one offer on Sweetland Rindless Bacon. It sure did make me think. Its funny how sometimes you would never put certain people together. Still, she seems absolutely lovely, and not altogether dissimilar in colouring and build to myself. Makes a girl think (and regret that I never jumped him). But on the bright side, it means my social circle has just widened itself even further.

When we were at the checkouts, I looked over to the other aisle and saw a chap who used to live with one of my best friends. I smiled at him, and nodded my head as you do, but he didn't recognise me. And check this - he said it was becuase I'd lost loads of weight!! (BINGO). It also turns out that he's taking a course at the company where I've got a second interview at this week... again, check out my networking skills. I had a major crush on his other housemate at one point too. Now that housemate is married.

This reminds me - both the young chaps I was involved with (albeit briefly) at university got married years ago. And the man who I most recently had a big crush on has now got a pretty steady girlfriend. I think i see a theme developing.

I repeat: Four out of five guys who I either dated or had massive crushes on or both are now married, and the other one has a steady girlfriend.


I know, maybe if you want to get married, and think you'll never find someone, just break my heart and before you know it, you'll be hitched.

Or perhaps, as my housemate pointed out, I have a way of picking out guys who seem ready to settle down. I'm not even going to try to rationalise this one, only I guess that sooner or later it has got to start working in my favour???

So, a couple of weeks ago I had a date. It was pretty nice, I hope I see the guy again, but he seems to have commitments that take him out of town a lot.

I decided to push the door with this guy from church who I've known for ages but never really chatted to. We ended up exchanging phone numbers in the pub a couple of weekends ago and we're going dancing on Friday night.

There's this cute young guy also from my church who I kinda like too, who is totally too young for me, and totally not suited, but I like him, and... oh well, I'm happy to wait and see if he ever grows any... and tries it on (I would definately not say no!).

Oh, and there is this most gorgeous young man who works in the bar where that photo (see below) was taken... but he's only 18 so that completely rules him out, but I'm free to ogle... (and take all my dates there..)

So, you know, I'm on the case. Might as well get out there if I want something to happen, not that I can control what, if anything, does happen. Do a bit of socialising, a bit of dirty dancing (particularly with a chap with overdeveloped biceps at well known salsa venue in town), networking a go-go, never turn down a date and generally more having fun. Mm. I think I'm looking forward to this season in my life...

I repeat - do you see a theme developing here?

Note to self - find out if bloke in Tescos has a girlfriend and if not, get his number.



I've started seeing a counsellor. I think I mentioned it before. To help me deal with a few issues that seem to be stopping me from moving forward. So many things are changing in my life, many are out of my control, but I'm trying to do my best to keep things afloat. I'm busier than I've ever been before, but I'm also being productive. I get frustrated because I can't make things move along faster than I would like, and actually the counselling is helping me to realise that sometimes your past needs to be vanquished before i can move on. Before I can be free. It is certainly something that needs to be overcome.

I like that word. VANQUISHED.

Reminds me of the Knights of the Round Table and all that. I am in the middle of doing a comic strip... maybe I'll post it as my next post. It is about vanquishing an enemy of sorts... an ice cream enemy. Anyway, just thought I'd say how emotionally draining it is temping, looking for work, going dancing, making wedding dresses, church commitments, plus examining past things, plus trying to lose weight (24lb at last count), plus trying to encourage and squeeze in as many dates as possible... It's no wonder that I'm absolutely exhausted!

Can you vanquish tiredness? And if you can, what is the secret weapon?

(Don't say do less)

Turning Thirty

A landmark occasion for any girl. It happened the week after I got made redundant, so in one way it was a good excuse to take a week off and party. YAY!!! Here is a picture of me celbrating with a couple of friends!

I must say, the Tapas that night was particularly wonderful, but not as wonderful as the outstanding cocktails. They were more like alcoholical milkshakes, but needless to say, I actually drank alcohol that night... A special occassion well worth it.

So, its around this time of reaching landmarks when you have to look a bit more closely at your achievements. Well, you don't have to, but they sort of call for it, by the mere nature of having reached the landmark. And what do I see in my life? Well, I'm going to look at it this way: I'm in a fabulous position. I'm old enough that I've got wisdom and experience and a good head on my shoulders. I've grown in confidence over the years and generally feel quite good about being me. And instead of moaning about what I haven't got, I'm in a place to realise that, as my friend Sophie put it, the best is yet to come. I have all the good things still to look forward to, finally losing all my puppy fat and becoming a real grown up, getting a firm step on a career ladder and landing a great job, with good prospects, most anticipated of these things is my own special falling in love story, followed by lots of cheeky kids one day, a houseful of arts and music and people dropping in for tea the whole time, feeding the neighbourhood and long hot lazy summers... maybe even living abroad for a spell.

But the greatest thing about all these not yets is that they're not at all in my control. I mean, of course I can do tiny things to assist them, some more than others, but really, isn't it all a God-given dream which only he can ordain? I mean, really... I can no more affect which job I get or what man next walks into my life. All I can do is be around to make the important choices... So yeah, I'm in a good place. Things are moving. They've already come a long way, but most of all there is hope for a bright future.

Don't get me wrong, its not all bright and dandy, because there is pain in the 'not yet'. But the comfort is that I don't have to do it all by myself.

No time to blog.. actual life has taken over!!!!!!!! Aaaarrrgghh! It is spinning madly out of control and I'm heading fast into a hazy blur of madness. I need a holiday. Will somebody stop my life, i want to get off!!!!!!!!!!!!!