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9th January 2017

These days @ 20:50

Today, according to Days of the Year, is apricot day. I've never been a big fan of apricot jam nor have I been a keen plum jam eater but I'll eat plums and I'll eat greengages and I have been known to munch on the odd apricot now and then but I'm more of a raspberry fan. Apricots are a little too sickly to me. So as I won't be celebrating Apricot Day, I can choose another of the days to celebrate instead.

So today, according to Days of the Year, is also Play God Day. In recent years "playing God" for me meant playing God-Sim computer games like The Sims or Black and White but the site guides the reader towards doing some little tweak here or there to enhance someones life. This is something I do anyway. I tried to think about what I would do if I was like Jim Carey in Bruce Almighty and I struggled to think of anything that I could do that wouldn't change how things are right now. So what would you do? If you were God for the day, what one thing would you do? Think carefully though. For example, if you were to cease all world hunger, think about how the increase in vegetation required to feed and farm for the planet could result in severe drought and dust bowls. Or if you were to stop all wars, think about all those people who work in munitions and military service industries who would be out of work. It's harder than you think....

6th January 2017

Gartongs @ 18:06

It's quite brisk and chilly in Northamptonshire tonight so it's a good job that today is Cuddle up day as there is nothing more warming than a nice cuddle. Indeed, I was in need of a good cuddle this morning when I was awoken in agony by a leg cramp so painful it made my ears ring. I still don't feel 100%. I'm falling apart!

I spent a good while researching various articles about my medication and suspicions have been raised about my statins. I remember when I started taking statins and was frequently getting tingly fingers which my former country quack doctor used to suggest was neurological. Although after he had me subjected to a test where I was wired up to some weird electric shock thing that gave me spasms, the results were inconclusive and further investigation just wasn't conducted. I also remember a former colleague of mine relating a horror story about their relative who had such a bad reaction to statins their electrolytes went all funny. More pointers to the fact that something I'm doing isnt right...But I've promised I won't consult Doctor Wiki nor should i worry unnecessarily until I actually know what's wrong...

Last night was also neighbourhood planning steering group meeting. In recent years I have become a Councillor on the parish council and one of my "duties" involves being the councils representative on the Steering Group. It can be a pain in the arse sometimes because the wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly and the majority of the "volunteers" have an air of "wish I never got involved in this now" but I stick with it because I want to make sure people are doing things right and as you probably already know, many people have a habit of doing things terribly wrong like voting for things for the wrong reasons, misunderstanding what has been said and generally being stubbornly narrow minded about things.

5th January 2017

Crack....Crack....Splurge @ 22:06

Today, according to Days of the Week website, is Whipped Cream day. In a house where dairy is mostly off the menu and where there is an imposed Slimming World diet, I am unfortunately unable to gorge myself silly on delicious whipped cream. Which is a shame really as I am quite fond of cream and, as you will read later, I have some cream related news to share.

So for now, instead I will share with you my memory of how, as a child growing up in Woolton, Liverpool, I would gaze longingly through the shop window of Clooks at their daily display of cream filled cakes and deliciousness together with the pronouncement from Les Dawson, Terry Scott and Dick Emery that cream cakes were naughty but nice. Ah, such happy times. I can still imagine the one that had green jelly as well as angelica. Nomnomnom...
Anyway, today I went for some blood to be taken for a test. I was a bit concerned by the need for yet another blood test within 4 weeks but after a chat with the phlebotomist I learned that the doctor wasn't overly concerned with my high triglycerides, but more concerned by the concerning low calcium levels in my blood. Concerned? You bet. Concerning...Especially as I haven't had any whipped cream in ages and whipped cream has a lot of calcium in it.

After learning this, I did what any sensible hypochondriac would do and looked up what having low calcium in the blood could mean. I wish I hadn't. Turns out that it's a condition called hypocalcaemia and, after consulting my colleagues who both actually do have medical related degrees, this is something to be concerned about as it can lead to kidney and heart failure and is one of the many "hidden diseases" as the symptoms sometimes do not always present themselves in situations where they can be identified as symptoms or indicators of the condition.

Long term readers will know I have a dicky ticker already and even longer term readers may remember a passing reference to my genetically anomalous kidneys (I have more tubes coming out of my kidneys than most people meaning I have slightly higher risk of pipe blockage when I get older [beat that stainsteelrat :P], so naturally I'm a little concerned. Especially as I have also presented with leg and chest muscle cramps/spasms, episodes of memory loss (I completely forgot where I was one night driving home from work a few months ago) and a couple of other symptoms I'm not going to talk about in public. Coupled with this, hypocalcaemia is linked to excessive magnesium, zinc and mercury in the diet. Recently I have increased my dietry intake of carrots, cabbage and oats as part of the healthy eating lifestyle I am following. Guess what vegetables and grains contain high levels of zinc and magnesium? And bonus points for the vegetable that is commonly linked to absorption of mercury from contaminated soils?

4th January 2017

Lots of bits of useless information @ 20:15

Q1. Did you know that amongst other things, today, according to Days of the Week, is Trivia Day?

Q2. I went to work today. How many speed cameras do I pass on my route into work?

Q3. Can you name at least three villages that I pass through?

Q4. I'm a bit farty today. What gas are farts mostly made up of?

Q5. It is also Tea Drinking month. On my arrival at work this morning what was I rather surprised by?

Q6. I have a fasting blood test tomorrow at 8am. What type of cholesterol in my blood are the doctors concerned about?

Q7. How much is that doggy in the window?

3rd January 2017

Mucky mind @ 19:23

Today, according to Days of the Year, is Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day, which, if you ask me, sounds a bit rude,possibly something GayJamie, Little Gay Chris or aladdin_sane might have come out with to describe some sort of intimate encounter involving a youth and a jar of Nutella. I'm a fan of chocolate but as I'm not a fan of cherries so I probably won't be celebrating this one. BTW it is zoefruitcake writing this as stegzy is making me a fire in the woodburner as it is bloody freezing in here. Anyway he got home from work late, still full of cold but slightly cheered by dinner being ready having been left on timer. Oh the wonders of modern technology.

Back to me now.

First day back at work was difficult in that nobody could be bothered, I was still full of cold so I couldn't be bothered either and to make things worse I've been micro-stressing over a small health issue that has been getting me a little concerned of late but I think a spell of healthy eating and not getting wound up by anything will do me good. I decided a long time ago that I can only get really ill in Liverpool as the University Hospital there is second to none and the one in Northampton has bad Tripadvisor reviews.

While I was at lunch, I was able to see our cleaner do her work today , thanks to our fancy new in-house CCTV, which amused me no end. It made a change to watching people walking their dogs or conducting drug deals in the car park of the Spiceball Park as is my usual lunchtime entertainment.

My new bit of entertainment is leaving comments on abandoned friends journals. Just to let them know I'm still here...

2nd January 2017

Buffet Day @ 16:49

Today, according to Days of the Year, is Buffet Day. However, as it is zero day of 2017's return to Slimming World, I doubt I'll be partaking in any buffets unless they feature scan bran, lots of carrots and slices of meat. But a buffet is not a buffet without some sausage rolls and those pieces of cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks stuck into half a potato...

As predicted, the cold that the Queen gave me that has ruined the last 4 days of my holiday, appears to be receding with the approach of the return to work tomorrow. I expect to be snot and cough free by 8am tomorrow morning as if I have been blessed by a miracle healer or Rasputin. Still, there are a few hours of feeling like shit remaining until then.

In an attempt to get out of the house and do something productive zoefruitcakeWife v2.0 and I made an attempt to clear out old shite from the garage. The garage currently contains a whole heap of tree branches that have been drying out since last year for burning. Of course, branches are too big to fit in a wood burner at the moment so I had a go with the new CHAINSAW [whilst monitoring all sorts of health and safety checks and procedures to ensure myself and those around me were not at risk of any limb, digit or member loss] and managed to chop up two branches before the battery conked out. Meh. All was not lost though, we managed to off load a case of tins of paint, a breeze of fans and a kindling of drawers into the local municipal tip.

Having been lax of late in reserving the Stegzy handle for emerging social media sites (I was too late for Instagram and Snapchat) I was rather chuffed to reserve it on emerging Twitter and Whatsapp successor, Telegram. I'll probably never use it as I'm not very popular but hey, at least I get to make stupid pictures and feel smug that THE OTHER STEGZYs in the world will have to suffer without....muhahahahaha

1st January 2017

Bloody Mary Day @ 10:04

Today, according to Days Of the Year is Bloody Mary day. I've never had a bloody mary. The thought of drinking cold alcoholic tomato soup turns my stomach. But I guess that's the idea.

In case you missed it, 2016 has passed. Eyes blinking, stumbling about and tripping over decades of discarded shopping trolleys, Ford Cortina parts and used syringes we enter a new year like we might exit an extra long dark tunnel. Things might happen, things might not.

Just before our annual post-festive shopping binge, the fridge decided to pack up. It had been a noisy thing, chuntering and rattling like an old train. I was rather fond of the old thing, it having been the third fridge freezer I had ever bought. It's strange how the older we get the more excited we get about new mundane appliances and fittings like fridge freezers and carpets.

28th December 2016

Power tools @ 22:00

Today I used my new battery powered chainsaw to carefully chop up a pallet which has kept us nice and toasty all evening. I felt all manly wielding it; just needed overalls and a flat cap and I'd have had it licked. But it's not sensible to lick chainsaws.

I spent much of the day watching Man of Steel. I'd not seen it before but as it was on one of the On Demand services on Freesat for £2.50, I thought I'd give it a go. I'm glad I didn't waste £10 to see it at the cinema and even more chuffed that I didn't spend £6 on renting it from iTunes a couple of years ago. I just wish I'd borrowed it, that way I wouldn't have felt robbed of £2.50.

As predicted, I have started to develop a bit of a cold during my time off work. Usually, I'm never sick enough to take time off work but typically if I am going to get ill, I'll do it when I'm off work. So to alleviate the symptoms I used the steam function on our fancy bath. It didn't make much difference.

27th December 2016

Fatstival @ 15:03

Somehow, without even trying, I've put on a whole heap of weight since last Monday. It just shows how little effort you need to put into weight management.

Christmas was fun, lots of lovely gifts (thanks FJ) and of course food. Possibly the best things included Steam powered toys from the wife and step-father-in-law and a chainsaw and induction plate from the olds. Ace


24th December 2016

Just bake off @ 14:40

Last week the office held a bake off competition. It seems that the big boss is a big fan of baking and thinks all her minions should appreciate baking too. So every time there is some sort of fundraising event, it takes the form of a "Bake off". Perhaps she thinks she's Mary Wrinkleface or something...

Anyway, as I don't usually enter these things, I thought I'd enter into the festive spirit and knock something up. Half a bag of flour and some cooking later I had made a small army of pepparkakor and with assistance from The Wife(v2.0) they were soon wearing standard issue chocolate and hundreds & thousands pants. They looked amazing. So amazing, they were later awarded third prize for presentation.

Which is nice.

Now, usually we buy our pepparkakor from the furniture giant, Ikea, but this year I found a recipe online which worked out well. However, because I'm daft, I somehow managed to make too much ginger bread pepparkakor dough. So much dough that I had enough to make more today.

Surprisingly, they only take a few moments in the oven and taste delicious. Indeed, they are great for the great tradition of making festive winter scenes .

This depicts the ancient festive Baldonwick legend of Ddryffyn visiting the orphans in their woodland hovel on a foggy snowy morning and the detail shows the puddle that Ddryffyn steps into convincing him to return to change his boots. Thus the orphans did feel hungry and were inspired to get jobs in order to feed themselves. I'm sure you're all familiar with this legend so I won't elaborate on the finer detail.

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