That’s how I felt just over 24 hours ago when I learnt about the unjustified horrendous attack on thousands of happy, innocent people and children in Manchester.

How can I be part of a human race that initiates and carries out such atrocities? How can I be expected to carry on with my own happy world when so many are grieving?

It’s a survival mechanism, for me to drift. To detach myself from horror while I compute the sheer scale of it and wonder why anyone could possibly justify attacks like this.

I comes from growing up in North Belfast, I guess. I had to protect myself from the mental pain acts of violence caused. I was considered aloof.  My granny told me I was, so it must be true.

I haven’t made the connection before. Adrift and aloof. Now it makes sense. I wasn’t being aloof, I was adrift from the agony the victims were suffering, trying not to be caught up in the tragedy. I needed to focus on keeping things “normal” for my own children.

I do care and I will always care. I just can’t always face reality in the same public way most people do.




I’m only 90% the woman I used to be!

The diet is going brilliantly this week – even the exercise part! At last, I’m moving!!  Not “proper” exercise though, today’s was wallpapering Sam’s bedroom. The day before was scraping off the old paper. I was on a roll (no pun intended) and didn’t want to stop for lunch, so I had a Tesco’s Light Choices lentil soup in a cup – a great standby for such occasions. I was up and down that step ladder so often, it was better than a step aerobics class! Occasionally (as I’m tall) I stretched rather than go up the steps – now that’s what I call a workout.

I was happy enough on Monday morning when I did my weigh-in and recorded 1.6lbs off in my Hairy Bikers Diet Club diary. But on Tuesday I had another peek at my weight on the scales and I had shifted another 1.4lbs – giving me the exact amount I needed to reach my 10% target – I was tickled pink 😀 and gave myself a huge pat on the back! It’s taken nearly 4 months but it’s been worth it. I think I have finally broken bad habits and my healthy eating is becoming “normal” for me. In one day I chalked up 19 portions of vegetables and 6 of fruit! That is an unusual day though, my average is about 7 veg and 3 fruit.

I had an event on Monday evening to look forward to – #blogtools, a fundraiser for the Belfast Community Gospel Choir. It was really great! Avril (School Gate Style) and Gemma-Louise (That Belfast Girl) bravely stood up in front of a group of new bloggers, like myself, and told us all the tricks of the trade on how to run a successful blog. I learned so much that it’s going to take a while to start using some of the tools I made a note of. I managed to resist the delicious looking cupcakes and the glasses of fizz and settled for sparkling water.

The venue was a great little shop, Maven, on the Lisburn Road in Belfast. I’d never heard of it but I will be back – it was full of all those lovely home items we all want to own but don’t know it yet! In the meantime, I’m “rocking” (as fashion bloggers say) a Maven shopping bag which is definitely a bit more up market from the plastic Asda one I previously carried in my handbag to avoid those pesky carrier bag levies.bag

Cooking has been a bit erratic this week. It’s the decorating, I am determined to get it done and unfortunately some things have to give. However, I haven’t abandoned my good work completely, I am still keeping everything delicious and nutritious! I cobbled together an old favourite – Aubergine Imam. It’s easy to do, just requires time to bake it so the aubergine is soft and the flavours mingle. I’ll post the recipe in a day or two when I work out the calories, but I know it’s quite low. It may not look like much but it is delicious. That and Aubergine Parmigiana are two of my favourite veggie dishes. For the men in my life I made Meatloaf with spicy tomato sauce. David and Corrado loved it but Sam just wasn’t in the mood. He’s the child who eats chillies without flinching, but it was the meatloaf with it’s telltale vegetable bits that he didn’t want. (Memo to self – put his version in the food processor next time!).  Both dishes were served with Greek salad (baked beans for Sam), including Feta “light”. My craving was satisfied. My diet was happy too.

Aubergine Imam and Greek Salad
Aubergine Imam and Greek Salad
Hairy Dieters "Eat for Life" Meatloaf
Hairy Dieters “Eat for Life” Meatloaf

Withdrawal symptoms

I woke up on Sunday morning and tried to search for a telephone number and discovered the internet wasn’t working. Sam knows how to reset the hub, so that saved me lifting my bum off the sofa (my children are trained in all the important jobs in the house). Still the amber light stared at me (with a smirk I swear!). Switched everything off and on again, this time the amber light sneered at me.  Since then it has positively been sticking it’s tongue out – 36 hours later and the blasted internet is still not working :(.  David was on with the BT Helpdesk so long, I thought he’d taken a flight to Mumbai!

To cut a long story short, “a man” will be out in the morning to sort it and I have to wait in for him. Hopefully he’ll make it earlier rather than later in the morning – my internet withdrawal might reach hallucination stage by lunchtime!

Using BT Fon to post this – it’s a very shaky and drafty service – it tires easily and you have to be close up against the window to receive the signal, hence no blog yesterday or today.

Can’t wait to update you tomorrow on the many gastronomic delights we sampled on Sunday and Monday! I might cheat a bit, also, and not post today’s weigh-in results and (if it’s an improved loss) I’ll use Tuesday morning’s weight!!

In the meantime, I’ve replaced blogging with knitting in an attempt to keep the fingers out of the biscuit tin! Corrado’s getting a Santa beanie and Sam’s getting an elf bobble hat, whether they like them or not!