I’m full of roast potatoes

Running

Achieved the first sub-27 minute parkrun in a long time. Would possibly have been sub 26:30 but my shoelace came undone. N went out for a run at the same time, but was not feeling the crowded parkrun love, so came to cheer me at the end. In his bright yellow Boston top. Wish I’d had a pictute. We went for an 8 miler this morning: 9:19 min/mile while moving (also progress!). He started with a cold. By 2 miles in, it was proto-man-flu. By the end, man-flu and please could we walk the last 3/4 mile home. He is now snuffling on the sofa under a duvet, and we are watching the New England Patriots vs New Orleans. We are supporting New Orleans, who have a fetching fleur de lys motif.

Hair

Asthma meds now changed, biotin definitely doing something as BOB the chin hair has reared his ugly follicle three times since I started it, which is twice too many in the time period. Also: how come only half a millimetre of hair pokes out, but 5mm seems to lurk under the surface, like some sort of hirsute iceberg?

IVF

Holding pattern here. Period currently running late, but we all know that means nothing. SiL announced the arrival of #3 via the family WhatsApp complete with scan photos in the middle of the working day. I retreated to the ladies’ in despair and desperate need of mascara repair. N has declared #3’s to be called Dele Osvaldo Gazza. Due March, I am considering knitting this.

Knitting

Finally blocking the baby blankets for L’s twins. 

Still knitting socks. As usual, as autumn starts, desperate to knit this. A situation ongoing for Six Years FFS. I have the yarn. I spent hours locating the pattern. What is wrong with me?

Reading

Finished Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. Really did not care what happened to Eilis. Enjoying The Black Dalhila by James Ellroy much more. There was a brilliant podcast, Hollywood and Crime, which covered the murder the book’s based round.

Other stuff

My stepfather in law treated us all to an excellent lunch today (buffet carvery at a hotel with valet parking and a lot of people wearing tweed). I had two mains, and 8 roast potatoes. And gravy. Oh my, the gravy. I rather want to go back there. Joint celebration for his birthday and my stepmother out law’s birthday. We were totally outnumbered by her family, but I think C and I won the elegance and well fitted dresses stakes.


Xxx

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One week later…

Running

Ran the Farnham Pilgrim half! 2:18:59 – about 10 minutes slower than 2 years ago (when I was training for a marathon…). My heart rate was about the same on this attempt as it was two years ago, and I wasn’t really pushing myself – I didn’t get home from a day’s morris dancing in Tenterden, Kent until just after midnight.  Got a nice medal, a really well fitting tech top (they had size Extra Small!), and just enjoyed myself. And the scenery was gorgeous.  Other than Not Enough Loos, this is the most beautifully organised and marshalled of races: and a brass band playing as you finish, and cakes and bananas at the finish line. Field of about 500, no idea where I came, but I don’t really care. Finished just before it started raining. Made it home safely despite driving on fumes.

IVF

Starts in 6-8 weeks (depends on when the next bar one period arrives). N’s SA looks excellent for IVF, I apparently have the ovaries of a younger woman (go me!). Interestingly, I think I ovulated this month. Go figure.  The next step is more blood tests, and an epic morning filling in paperwork.

I plan to bang out one more half in the next 6-8 weeks.

Hair

Lovely Fiona thinks the hair loss is stress, and has advised a morale-boosting trip to the hairdresser. I hate going to the hairdresser, so I’m not sure this will help. However, when she had stress related hairloss, the hairdresser was lovely.  Still taking the pills (probably not going to have this in the wrap-up unless something astounding happens). Haven’t quite had the GP appointment yet.

Knitting

No real progress. Desperate to knit something else…

Flat

Rented. Embroiled in paperwork. ‘Nuff said.

Books

Nearly finished ‘The Drowned and the Saved’. Not the most cheerful of bedtime reading. But, very very important: because the Holocaust was, hands down, the grimmest part of European History in sheer scale and brutality. And I don’t seem to have had nightmares as a result of reading it – which is odd. Because I feel I should have done. Nearly finished Elif Shafak’s ‘Honour’ as well.

xxx

 

 

Sausage Casserole

Honestly. Get a copy of “Potty” by Clarissa Dickson Wright. It’s full of super one-pot recipes. This is my current favourite (a variation without the potatoes is already on the internet). We had peas and carrots with it. 

Serves 4

  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 900g good sausages
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 bottle red wine or 1 bottle beer
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut in half
  • 75g cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180degC/350degF/gas mark 4. In a heavy casserole fry the onions in oil until they’re coloured. Add the garlic and cook a little longer. Brown the sausages in the pan, pour in the alcohol and tomatoes. 

Season, add the potatoes, cover, cook in the oven for an hour. 10 mins before the end, uncover, sprinkle on the cheese and finish. 

Very forgiving on cooking time. 

Xxx

 

Perhaps we need a weekly round up round here?

This shall be done in Headers this week….

Running

I actually made it to parkrun (27:41). It might have been a bit faster, but for the fact that we were near the back to start with, so there was an awful lot of weaving about. In a field of 488, I managed 216th. 40th female. 4th in my age group. I am quite happy with that – it was far easier than the parkrun we did before going on holiday. Fitness is slowly returning. Just in time to hit IVF, I reckon…. My 10 year old intervals session is slowly producing the goods (and is getting a bit quicker. Now I’ve written that, this week’s attempt will be slower).

IVF

I’ve had my pelvic scan. Utterly fine until my left ovary got coy, hid itself away, and then there was an awful lot of poking and prodding, and I felt like a grey dishcloth by the end of it. Very pleased my boss gave me a ‘comp day’ to recover. By 3-ish in the afternoon, I felt more-or-less myself again, and we had a lovely evening entertaining friends of the family. There was wine. There was sausage casserole. Oh. The Sausage Casserole. Definitely making that again. Even if the oven didn’t get up to heat and I had to put it on the stove top to prevent solid potatoes.

The next step is the preliminary assessment on Tuesday. We get the latest sperm analysis then, and hopefully get some sort of timetable. I’ve found a local counsellor so I can have some extra support in addition to the couples’ counselling we get at the clinic.

Ubiquinol, Evening Primrose Oil, and vitamin D have been added to the vitamin regimen of fertility vitamins, iron, and probiotics. I rattle.

Having been horrified by a reference in Grazia magazine about women over the age of 40, with older partners, not being successful in IVF at all, I had to sit down and then think. We can think of at least two couples where IVF has been successful for women over 40 with older partners. N is under instructions that he not cook his balls.

Hair

I am fairly convinced that all hair loss (looks pretty ghastly under a bright light – guess who has a bright light above the bathroom mirror?) is related to the Clomid. I have a section where there is no long hair at all. It’s all a maximum of 4″ long. However, I have also found some little new hairs in that section today. Not many. One is grey…. So, I hope it might come back again. In the meantime, in addition to the vitamin regimen, Biotin and Collagen are being consumed, and rosemary oil added to the conditioner when I’m washing my hair. Shampoo is currently either T-GEL or the super-coconut based stuff from the GP. I’ve got another appointment in 2 weeks to potentially change my asthma medicines. A short google suggested that steroids can contribute to hair loss (although, usually anabolic steroids in men). A bit more google suggested that Symbicort users have recorded hair loss, but I can’t find any Fostair users (that’s the stuff I was on before Symbicort) who have mentioned this. I know my hair texture has changed in the last 4 years or so – when I also started taking Symbicort. And, now I’ve moved out of London, I don’t seem to need the Symbicort as much as I used to. I’m better controlled. I can’t remember the last big attack I had (and the last time I needed extra Symbicort during the day was on a super-polluted day in London back in May, which was the first time for a loooong time. When I lived there, the extra was needed about once a week). So: might as well try going back to Fostair. Bonus – Fostair is an aerosol inhaler. You can use a spacer with it. And this might, might, might, reduce the oral thrush side effects.  It’s worth debating with the GP, and worth trying for 6 months. Plus it’s a pretty pink inhaler, and I am shallow.

Efforts to reduce stress are ongoing. I ought to have more warm baths and early nights.

Knitting

I have one pair of sock monkeys nearing completion, I am on the home straight of the first of the pair of N’s Boston Marathon socks, and I have made two baby blankets for L’s IVF twins (these were her third attempt).  I have found a new pattern in this month’s Vogue Knitting magazine to try on the yarn which refused to knit to gauge but which is so soft and lovely, and I have discovered a podcast app, Overcast, which will actually play the BBC podcasts (the iPhone App refused – it wasn’t just my phone. They also failed to play on N’s phone). I do like a good podcast and a knit on the train into work.  The Archers, More or Less, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Case Files, They Walk Among Us, The Guilty Feminist, BBC Comedy of the Week, BBC Friday Night Comedy are my current favourites. I can’t quite decide if I like the Nerdery or not.

We have two more episodes of Twin Peaks to come this week – and those are very good for knitting to (we went to see Fire Walk With Me and The Missing Pieces at the cinema. I have had my fill of popcorn recently. I find it ironic that the most narratively coherent piece of Twin Peaks seems to be the film made with the outtakes/deleted scenes).

Flat

Repainted, ready to rent. Worked out why the sink blocked under the previous tenants – this would be all the rice which wasn’t scraped off any plates before being put in the dishwasher (which also didn’t have salt or rinse aid put in it).  Finding an inch of stagnant water in there when I was aiming to de-scale it was Not Fun. Curtains are up, shower works, there is now an extractor fan in the bathroom, the carpets are cleaner, and N will be putting up a proper blackout blind in the front bedroom this week (he’s taller than I).  Currently having a mild tussle with the agents over the fee – the contract says 15%, my emails say 12% (letting, rent collection and management. I cannot be spending any more mornings trying to unite tenants and plumbers…).

Books

Finished Enigma of Arrival, started The Drowned and the Saved. Also reading Elif Shafak but can’t remember the name of the book, and it’s so much harder to remember the name of a book on a Kindle. Loved The Forty Rules of Love, though. Beginning to feel like I’ll never read all the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die before I die. The project’s been going on 10 years now…and a lot of the books on the list are hard going. While I was on holiday, I knocked through Naked Lunch, All the Pretty Horses, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Autumn of the Patriarch, The Wind Up Girl, Paul Merton’s Autobiography, Jayne-Anne Gadhia’s Autobiography and The Forty Rules of Love. Only the last 3 did not include the word ‘Sh*t’. I got really quite fed up with how I’d managed to choose so many books that just seemed to be mired in faecal matter (to be fair, All the Pretty Horses was using the word mostly as the very occasional swear, but the rest were decidedly smeared and besmirched).

xxx