Sunday, 26 February 2012

2 For 1 Blog - Part 2: Surprise Sunday....And Walking My Arse Off

You know when you get those days that turn out unexpectedly good?

Well I've had one of those today!

On paper, today wasn't looking anything special; a walk in the morning, then later cook lunch, and then an afternoon of sport: firstly, Arsenal vs Tottenham in the Premier League, then Scotland vs France in the Six Nations, and then Liverpool vs Cardiff in the Carling Cup Final.

So, that was my day on paper. In my head, it was going to be worse.

To start with, when I woke up this morning, I was not in any kind of mood for going on a walk. My feet were still slightly sore from the 12 mile walk I had done the day before. Then there was lunch; I was going to attempt a new recipe hitherto untried by me. Chances of success were slim.

My afternoon of sport were overshadowed by omens of doom. On current form, Arsenal were due to get spanked. Having watched them self destruct against AC Milan a week earlier, and knowing how well Tottenham were playing at the moment, I was prepared for an afternoon of smashing my head against a wall in frustration.

And the Rugby wasn't shaping up to be much better. I always want Scotland to do well, but they always fall short. Plus, France seem to have two or three extra gears than most other teams.

And the Carling Cup Final? Not worth watching - Cardiff were bound to get thrashed by Liverpool.

So how did my day turn out?

Well, I went on my walk in the morning - and felt a million times better for it. It was misty this morning, which gave the the countryside a strange eerie beauty. I walked 7 miles, bringing my weekend total to 26 miles. And my feet didn't suffer too bad.

Cooking lunch was somewhat of a mixed bag. I made the pancake mix fine, but only got three useable pancakes out of enough mix to make eight. I did have to eat three pancakes that didn't come out properly, and the three that I did get we're quite thick. In terms of the amount of mix to user per pancake, less is more apparently.

These were going to be savoury pancakes, and the filling was made up of two onions chopped and fried, along with bacon, chopped apple, and in my recipe, chopped spinach. In truth, the filing came out beautifully - so much so that I will use that filling for other things - jacket potatoes for example.

I had trouble with the cheese sauce though. I followed the recipe, but in the pan it suddenly thickened really quickly, and although I was whisking it furiously, I couldn't prevent it turning thick and lumpy.

However, that didn't stop me using it on my savoury pancakes. And using to fill cracks in my artex ceiling. I baked the pancakes (with the filling, and the lumpy cheese sauce on it) for 25 minutes, and then ate it. My presentation left much to be desired, as I got annoyed trying to dish up, and everything ended up slopped on my plate, in a "Puppy turned inside out" kind of way.

My overall summary of my lunch; needs more work.

And my afternoon of sport? After 30 minutes, Arsenal were losing 0-2. But then they came back and won 5-2. It was the performance they needed, the result they needed, against their biggest rivals. It doesn't cure all their problems, but it showed their character.

In the rugby, Scotland lost to France - but they weren't humiliated. They scored two tries, and showed more invention and progress than I have seen in a long time. There were a lot of positives in that game, and my belief in Scotland remains.

And then there was the Carling Cup Final. Liverpool won - but they had to do it on penalties, Cardiff took them all the way, and it was one of the best finals I've ever seen. A great advert for the game, it had drama all the way through.

So that was my day - not everything went according to plan, but it was really enjoyable.

As you know, I do a lot of walking. 10 miles during the working week, and between 21 and 31 miles at the weekend. In February, by the end of the month, I would have walked approximately 150 for the month. I walked 113 miles in January, so am on target to do 1500 miles this year.

But why am I walking? Well mainly because it is my only source of exercise. I've got a bad back - or am susceptible to bad backs - so I can't run of play football etc. Walking is cheap and easy.

Secondly, I've want to lose some weight, as I'm an usher at a friends wedding in July, and want to look good in my suit. At the beginning of January 2012 I weighed approximately 16st 10lbs (234lbs). At the moment - 26th February 2012 - I way approximately 16 stones (224 lbs). So I have lost around 10lbs.

And for the first time, I have started noticing a difference in my body. Basically, my jeans are getting looser around the waist. I've had to put extra holes in my belts do that I can tighten them enough to keep my jeans up.

When you consider, that a few years ago at my heaviest I weighed over 17 stone, I'm quietly pleased with my progress this year.

At times it seems a chore to get out every weekend and walk, but I am starting to see results, so I will keep on beasting out the miles!

Mainly cos I'm getting buns of steel.

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