Thursday, March 18, 2010

A few random bits

At last I have read through the very detailed comments from my OU tutor relating to how I could have improved those poems - and thank you to everyone who also gave me feedback. She and I have also swapped emails about them and I feel newly determined and creative once again and ready to tackle the three remaining marked assignments - the last one of which will make up 50% of my final mark (more about that when the time comes).

The weather is now mild enough here for me to go out without a coat or jacket although I do now have one dilemma. Where to put my car keys and phone when out walking the dogs. I tend to stick them down my bra - a habit for years and years - but I do then tend to split the lace very often and have to fork out for new ones. I don't like those belts you can hoist around your waist - I need to minimise my bulk, not add to it. Any solutions gratefully received - and bags will not be considered. I love my bags but not when out doing my speed walk (who am I kidding - the dogs sniff every leaf and I have a start-stop shuffle that I have perfected). Why car keys? - because I drive to one of the many canal paths or water gardens near here. If I just walked the streets near out house every evening then this daily duty would not be as enjoyable as it is.

Mr FF will be returning home very soon. He has got a better offer from another company and will be able to work from our office here. I'm not going to dwell on this because we have talked about it and this blog is going to be about me and not his life with me. I'm sure I've got enough to say without having to resort to what he is up to.

One thing I have missed having out here is a good friend, a close friend to whom I can tell anything. Well, I think I have found her through the Weight Watchers class that I joined. I didn't realise how much I had missed having this bond with someone and she has said the same. Anyone overhearing us would think we have known each other for years, we jabber away so and feel totally relaxed together - but then out here most of the people listening wouldn't understand a word (seeing as how they would be French). I'm really enjoying the camaraderie of this slimming class; there are about 100 women and two men there and it has been a great way to learn new slang and chat casually to the French. Five weeks in and I have lost just over 9 lbs. I knew it would not be quick (I'm on medication that slows down the weight loss process) and I'm happy for little losses.

I feel positive and determined and totally out of my usual spring mindset, which is where I wish I was strolling along the South Bank in London, having lunch at the NFT cafe and browsing the bookstalls. Things sometimes seem better when you think about them than when you actually do them. I'm sure if I were there the crowds would irritate me, the rubbish air would make me moan and I'd be yearning to return to this beautiful countryside.


Nora Johnson said...

For your key/lace dilemma, males around here in Spain wear "cargo" pants ie pants that have a myriad of pockets that they stuff with all those things that men insist on having on their person. You know, Swiss pen knife set, coins in addition to hundreds of keys etc. You can always recognise them in the dark from the noise of all the jangling metal.


Frankofile said...

Our dog walking, too, isn't exactly a power walk. Still, every moment outside is a moment away from the bread bin (in my case - congrats on your weightwatching).

LadyFi said...

So glad to hear you are feeling more positive! And it's so important to find a really close friend, isn't it?

My daughter made me a kind of drawstring bag that is very small and light and with just enough room for phone and car keys.

LadyFi said...

Another idea would be to buy panniers for the dogs and let them carry your stuff. Good exercise and stimulation for them...

Eleonora said...

Wonderful news! Hubby coming home, the overall positive attitude... the frickin' 9 pounds!!! And mostly the new friendship. I know how difficult it is to live without special bonds, without the comfort of a friend. I'm so happy WW has not only helped you get your weight down, but has allowed you to meet a friend. What an achievement!

This post made me happy.

Ciao darlin', keep up the great work.

Sarah said...

You could hang the keys round your neck, under your shirt, or across your shoulder.

Congrats on the weight loss, and I'm sure even better is finding a fab friend. Weight comes and goes, but a friend is worth her weight in gold.

Monalisa said...

Well done loosing 9 lbs.

Sports shops here sell a wrist purse - just enough to hold keys and phone. You can add weights to them and swing your arms to tone your upper body...

Lulu LaBonne said...

Hooray! Everything seems to be smelling of roses.

I have a little cloth bag that came with a pair of earrings, I safety pin that to the inside of my t shirt.

Dash said...

Hi FF, good news, Mr FF is returning home, you will no longer be alone. Glad that you are enjoying weight watchers and it's good to lose weight gradually, it means it will be less likely to return. As for your dog walking, key, mobile phone issue, I think you need to invest in some trousers with lot's of pockets.

Anonymous said...

Spring brings lots of good news from you. Hooray for your success in losing weight, for Mr. FF returning home, and for a new friend.
I usually safety pin my keys on the inside of my pocket or jacket while walking.

French Fancy said...

Nora - hola. I'm not a fan of those cargo style trousers. I'm usually in jeans or trousers without pockets.

Frankie - I sometimes see people running along with their dogs and wonder amazed at how their creatures don't feel the need to sniff and poke everything they pass.

Fi - that little light bag sounds very good. In fact it reminded me that my last Sephora order came in a little black drawstring bag - perhaps I could just dangle that from my wrist. Will try this out later today.

As for the dogs carrying - hahaha - our little princesses do something useful?

Lola - thank you bambina

Hello Sarah - good comments and thanks a lot

Mona Lisa - yes, a wrist bag with weights sounds like a double good lot of whammy

Lu - oh that sounds a good idea. I hate to take a big proper bag on one of these walks - I like to swing my arms - well, one of them. The other is attached to two dog leads and being pulled madly along

Dash - I don't like trouser pockets. I know it sounds barmy but just another of my funny little 'isms'

Dedene - you and Lulu do the safety pin thing - I've never heard of this but it does make perfect sense. I've already got bumpy bosoms from the keys and phone sticking out at chest angle - a bumpy bag front will not hinder me

Steve said...

I have to carry a huge fob of keys around with me at work... I couldn't give them to you to carry, could I? ;-)

Glad to hear you feeling so positive.

A Super Dilettante said...

Hello my dear, I'm very happy for you (and also for Mr FF). I'm so glad that you also have a friend...the poet, Shelly wrote

"It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm..."

To me, friendship means everything to me. Friendship is not like love because one can cope without love but one needs friends throughout one's life! I'm so looking forward to your letter. I've been very busy with the private views in the evening. When I come home, I feel so tired after talking to the glamorous people. I'm not into the social side of art mixing with the glamour. My jaw is so sore from smiling at these people!

Ayak said...

You can get mobile phone cases on a cord to hang round your neck..I use one if I don't have pockets..and there's usually enough room for keys as well. Which reminds me.. must get a new one as my current one, bought some time ago in Selcuk, is a child's one in the shape of a cat..the only one they had at the its a bit embarrassing!

Well done on the weight loss!

the fly in the web said...

I hang keys on a cord round my neck and try to have no one present when I start hauling them up from the darker recesses of my garments.

Isn't amazing that once Mr.FF went to work for one firm another head hunted must be delighted!

What with friends and weight loss -and feeling more positive about the OU course, you are having a great time..well deserved too.

the fly in the web said...

I hang keys on a cord round my neck and try to have no one present when I start hauling them up from the darker recesses of my garments.

Isn't amazing that once Mr.FF went to work for one firm another head hunted must be delighted!

What with friends and weight loss -and feeling more positive about the OU course, you are having a great time..well deserved too.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

No alternate suggestions to what's already been said on how to store the keys -- but certainly more congratulations on the continued steady weight loss. Tomorrow is weigh day for me (I do it once a week just to keep me on track). Not looking forward to seeing the number as we've had extra goodies around and when I'm down, I eat :P

Carol said...

You sound like you've got your mojo back...and I'm so pleased!

Send my congrats to Mr FF and yay to you for having found your friend...having a friendship like that is very important!

C x

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh my, congratulations on your slimming! Very exciting, everyone seems to be much more committed to these regimes than I am! It's not the most stylish option, but cargo pants are what my Mr. resorts to in the warm weather for all his electronics and keys and whatnot...

Jean said...

Well done with the weight loss.
Re: keys. You could try a small fabric purse with a long cord attached, worn like a cross-over shoulder bag or tied around your waist. (I have tried to think of a more elegant and glamorous solution but failed. Personally I don't trust safety pins - if it came undone you could lose the keys.)

Vera said...

Good luck with your onward plod with the OU, and hope you have many glorious hours of female chattering with your newly found friend. As for keeping your keys in your bra: crikey, how did you manage that! There is only room for me in that uplifting article, and even then there is a tendency for an overspill, so definitely no space for keys! Will follow with interest your project to find a safe place to keep them when you are out and about.

Jennysmith said...

you've done it again, FF. I now want to stroll down the South Bank! Thats it, I'm going now.

Its nice this more bearable weather isn't it. That winter was bloody harsh and cruel

Good about mr FF xxx

e said...

Continued luck with the new friend and your slimming, and I hope everything works well for Mr. FF. I'm glad you talked with the tutor and things have improved on that score, too.

Dash said...

FF, when you have a mo, could you pop over to mine, I have something for you.

lady macleod said...

Cargo pants are always good for pocket space; and what about using those magnet thingys to put the keys up under the car?

I'm pleased to hear about your new friend - everyone needs someone to share the little and the big things with.

Ken Devine said...

Hi Julie
I knew you'd be raring to go with the rest of your assignments. You can't keep a good woman down in the doldrums too long. I'm really pleased about your friend...and that your husband will be around more.

I agree with things often being better thinking about them as opposed to doing them. I often crave chips but after one or two I'm usually looking for somewhere to stuff them other than in my mouth.

Delana said...

Hi FF: I tie my keys to my shoestrings....the phone is another matter! Grand felicitations on the weight loss. 9 pounds in 5 weeks is grand and in fact, the slower it comes off, the easier it is to keep it off. You obviously have determination. I'm not sure if I could stay away from the cheese! Our weather is beautiful too. It's amazing how it changes your outlook. Happy Spring.

the fly in the web said...

Thanks for your best wishes for Mr. Fly.

I really appreciate you thinking of us.

French Fancy said...

Steve - you remind me of me at my old job. I also walked around like the office jailer swinging my keys and jangling away

ASD - I've never been one for lots and lots of friends - I much prefer the closeness that comes with knowing a few intimates very very well. I've often met people out here who wanted to be my friend but I've been taken advantage of by a few people and it has made me wary. At last I have met a woman who wants nothing more than genuine friendship - it's lovely.

Ayak - a neck holder for phone and key sounds ideal. I tried the other day with the little bag that I suddenly thought of - but it was a bit loose round my wrist and I was worried that if the girls had a kerfuffle I might not notice it droppng. Thanks for the tip.

tfitw - a neck cord sounds on a par with Ayak's neck phone holder - I'd have to get something to loop my phone in before putting it round my neck though.

As for fumbling in the recesses - I don't know what any watchers think when they see my hand dive inside whatever I am wearing and poke around in my bra

CT - I've not had a bad week yet but that is the week when I must make myself go - more than on the good weeks. That is how I've not succeeded in the past - at the first sign of trouble I've dropped out, whereas I should have gone to the class to get re-inspired

Carol - yay to all of us - you and Chris and me and Mr FF

Laura - I think you need long legs to get away with cargo pants. Mine are short and stumpy - not a great look

Jean - nothing round my waist I think - or crossways over my big bosoms. I'd look like a guide leader. But thank you anyway

Vera - I have huge breasts and I just squish them around to make room for a few bits and pieces, When I used to work in Oxford Circus (central London), to avoid walking around with my bag tempting shoplifters, I would always put a credit card in one bra cup and a hankie in the other - it never let me down

Jen - I'm planning a London trip for later in the year and that will definitely be one of the places that I go. I love it along there.

e - thank you sweetie and I hope you are feeling brighter

Dash - yes, thank you so much - I saw it and it is very kind of you

LadyM - I didn't know that about the magnetic key thing for under the car. I think I would get too anxious leaving it there in case someone else found it though

Ken - do you know I can't quite remember when I last had big squidgy chips from a chip shop - I'm sure I would have no trouble finishing them though. Best for me not to start really

Delana - I won't have cheese or chocolate in the house. Well, that's a bit of a lie - I have cheese but not as cheese lovers know it. I have a bag of 6% grated plastic yellow stuff that calls itself cheese - I also have tubs of ricotta. I daren't have the lovely normal food of the gods here though.

French Fancy said...

tfitw - I worry about you. I know what it is like being the one who cares for the sick person. (I'm thinking of my dad here).

Rob-bear said...

Mr. FF at home again. Sounds delightful. But will he get under foot?

the fly in the web said...

You obviously appreciate the problems of looking after someone you love who - to survive - has to be self centred.
It is certainly not easy, and I don't add up to my expectations, but I have so much respect for him, coping with a debilitating illness.
I just miss the man I met all those years ago.

Furtheron said...

Hello FF thanks for dropping by my blog.

Good luck with the course. You've more guts than me I've been thinking about doing a late in life degree course but I'm not that confident that I'd be able to keep up with all the young ones! Possibly best to accept that university was never talked about in my house when I was a kid you went to school, worked in the dockyard and that was it... well until Maggie shut the bloody dockyard down and all my family lost their jobs

cheshire wife said...

Good news about the weight loss and Mr FF coming home.

Mark said...

A few random bits:

Keys - have you seen those dog leads with a little holder for the poo bags - could put a key in there?

On the subject of dog-poo bags - (warning, next sentence is quite disgusting) I actually saw a bloke walking along with one hanging round his neck - and yes, it was full! Urgghhhh..

Good friends - I think as we get older we have fewer real friends, but I kind of like that. All my friends live a long way off which is partly why I don't think of Wiltshire as my home even though I spend more than half my time here.

French Fancy said...

Rob - nah, we have a lot of rooms in the house, so there is sufficient space for us to have 'me' time

Furtheron - do the course, there is no keeping up. The Open University is home study most of the time and there is no competing with other students really

CW - thank you

Mark - the thought of someone with a full dog poop bag round his neck is - as you say- disgusting. I'd have to have a long shower AND also a scrub with a loofah or something.