Saturday, 29 January 2011

Nothing much to report

So why say anything?

I guess I just feel that if I have a blog, I ought not to leave too much time between blogs. But the past weeks have gone past without major incident and with no great highs and no deep lows.

Partly this is because I have been really busy at work. January is always my busy month because we have a December year-end and, being the finance guy among other things, I have to get the year-end figures out. Also this week I had a lot of other issues to deal with as well as chair a UKGEOforum meeting and then introduce the annual UKGEOforum lecture as part of the RICS geomatics series. Not something I enjoy doing. But it went okay and we had a good dinner afterwards.

On Sunday I played 3 sets of tennis and on Friday I played 18 holes of golf. Both were great for clearing my head and giving me some much-needed exercise - albeit in freezing temperatures.

And on Tuesday evening we were invited to the Oakham Gallery in Mayfair to attend the opening night of their 11th annual exhibition of Scottish Art. I enjoyed the evening. Loads of free champagne and some interesting paintings to see, so what's not to like? My b/f liked it so much that he bought a painting. An oil paining of Coul Bay in Islay painted by Chris Bushe, a well-respected contemporary painter who studied at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen. We will have the picture shipped out to Spain and hang it in our flat in Malaga. There is a blank wall there, waiting for something to give it a focal point.

And now I have to do my tax return. I have left it until the last minute as ever. I put some money into my pension fund this year, so I need to so a tax return in order to get the tax benefit from that. So that is most of the rest of Saturday taken care of.

As I said - nothing much to report. But it fills a blog post.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Year in Malaga

And here, again belatedly, are some photos taken during our New Year break in Malaga.

Christmas in Scotland

Beleatedly, here are a few pictures I took over Christmas in Keith in the north of Scotland.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

It started so well

During last week I had porridge for breakfast, veggie soup for lunch and steamed fish for dinner on most days. By Friday I had already lost 3 lbs.

Then came the weekend. A glass of wine, then another, then another. Chocolate biscuits mid-morning. A large dinner. And the weight has gone back on again. It's just that I tend to feel hungry at weekends and also I want to relax after the stresses of the week.

Back to square one. More willpower needed.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Resolutionary Fervour

My sedentary lifestyle plus an excess of food and drink have taken their toll. This was exacerbated in June last year when I sprained my foot. I had to stop playing tennis and golf for many months. I did less exercise that usual. But I continued to eat and drink at my usual rather excessive rate. Recent visits to South Africa, Scotland and Spain have not helped.

I think I eat relatively healthily. But I recognise that I eat too much. I don't often get really drunk. But I recognise that I drink too regularly. Most days I have a glass or two (or more) of wine when I got home from work. I often eat a chunk of cheese, possibly washed down by a final glass of red wine, just before I go to bed.

Enough is enough. Indeed too much is too much. Time to change.

So on Tuesday morning I weighed myself. 13 stone 5 lbs. Ouch. Some of that weight has to go. Not through a crash diet, but through more sensible eating and drinking coupled with more exercise.

My goal? Difficult to decide. OK, here goes. To get down to 12 st 0lbs by my birthday 20 May. By my reckoning, that is approximately 1lb each week.

It won't be easy. I need to put on some muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. The main weight loss area needs to be around my tum. At my age, getting rid of weight in that area will be tough. I don't ever expect to see a six pack. I just want to look and feel better. And hopefully have more energy.

So yesterday and today I have had some bran flakes, tea and brown bread for breakfast, an apple mid-morning, vegetable soup for lunch and fish for dinner. And no alcohol. My weight is now 13st 3 lbs.

But I suspect that losing the first few pounds will be relatively easy. Then weight loss will become progressively harder. I have got to start some sort of exercise, even if it is just walking. My foot is still too sore to start running.

Will I succeed? I honestly do not know. Watch this space.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011 - looking forward

In many years past, I have drawn up a long list of New Year´s resolutions. It is arguable whether they were kept or not. Just one aim for the start of this year - to improve my appearance. Not necessarily in a narcissistic way. I just need to lose weight and gain a better shape. So more exercise, less food, less alcohol and a better diet. It will be a gradual process. And maybe some clothes shopping!

2011 is the first year of the rest of my life. Yes I know that I could have said that about any year. But this one feels a bit more like a watershed. I need to make better use of my time, find time for friends, sort out my finances etc etc. And use the fact that I now live in a new flat to explore the area, join the local tennis club, go to the local swimming pool, get out the bicycle etc. Not exactly New Year´s resolutions. Just a desire to have more energy and more quality time, for myself and for others. I want to live each day in a unique way, not live one day 10,000 times.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

2010 - looking back

Whenever I do a retrospective of a year just gone, the tone of the retrospective tends to be influenced not by the qualities of the year in question, but rather by my mood at the time of writing.

So here I am looking back at 2010 from an internet cafe in Malga having had a relaxing Christmas and New Year. It is consequently easy to forget the trials and tribulations of the year just gone. It was not a great year, to be honest. I made many trips to Scotland to visit my ailing father, I went to funerals of friends who were my age, work was often a real hassle, I injured my foot and had to stop playing golf and tennis, I put on weight (not unrelated to the previous comment) and generally the year passed quickly and without many positive triumphs.

I did move home though. That was achieved, not without stress, but without undue delay. And that gives me a new base from which to approach the new year. Andrew was supportive as ever. We did some memorable travel, especially to South Africa. And I hope I was nice to people and helpful when needed.

So goodbye 2010. Another year of experience on the hopeful path of life.