**This** is the weekend

As in now, Friday. The end of the week. That (for the less observant) would make Saturday the *start* of the week. And Saturday and Sunday together the weekstart. Which just sounds silly.

However, in pop-psychology mode, I've decided that this is important. When you get to the end of something, especially something long and tiring, you (one) typically collapses in a feeble heap, going "blargh". But when one starts something, one launches into it with freshness, energy and enthusiasm. I've wasted too many weekends thinking of them as 'recovery time' from the preceeding week, instead of 'active time' prior to the upcoming work week. Wordgame bullshit maybe, but the difficulty of incorporating this into my thinking suggests it is a pretty fundamental part of my outlook on life.

In other news, the dive kit got tested on Wednesday, because we're going on holiday! This makes things significantly less stressful as far as the holiday is concerned, because I know that (A) I can find everything, and (B) it works. I have also (C) identified the things I forgot to pack for the test (namely my dive computer), so hopefully will remember it for the holiday. It's important.

I also discovered that it's much more comfy having 4 kg of lead in front of you when diving (as opposed to behind you), that my console (compass/air gauge) and associated hose are supposed to go *under* my arm, where I won't be accidentally grabbing them every time I try and grab the inflator (DOH!! I really haven't been diving enough…), and that dead spiders don't make the best dive wildlife…

I'm pretty much booking the next two days for actually doing my stuff. I intend to do a lot of sewing (commission stuff, for dancing), hopefully attend a ballet class (really!) and generally chill. I also hope to get loads of stuff organised for my eBay ventures.

Two bike rides in one week!

Last Sunday I went on a 2 hour (roughly 20 mile) bike ride. Ooooh!!! What makes it all the more impressive is that it was the second one that week! I shall be fit again, I shall.

The first bike ride, performed on Bank Holiday Monday, was actually the same route (nearly) as the second, and I did it with Heather (it was planned by Jack – thanks mate!). Here's to many more bike rides!

During the bike ride, I stopped to pick elderberries, with a vague idea of making some wine (because I'm a hippy like that). Did you know that earwigs really, really like elderberries? And that they can remain 100% hidden in a bunch of berries right up until that bunch hits the box of already picked berries, and then about 20 of them will scurry out into all the berries you've already picked? Bleeee. Still, I prevailed. Alison: 1 arthropods: 0.

Peeve

This morning, I got up early to continue sewing a top I'd like to wear tonight. I started this one a while ago, before the Pirates dress (no, I still haven't seen any photos…) and packed it away to concentrate on other things. Well, it's Badger's birthday bash, so I thought it'd be cool to try and finish it.

It's a cute Chinese-esque top from a Simplicity pattern – pattern ref to follow when I find it. It has a mandarin collar, a fitted body, asymmetric neck opening and, significantly, cute little short sleeves. I bought the pattern in honour of some lovely Hong Kong silk I was bought years ago and have been too scared of cutting ever since. I thought I'd try the pattern out on some pretty cool polyester Chinese-silk-alike in a faded gold colour with the obligatory dragons all over it. It's a different kind of top to anything I've sewn before, and not 100% simple.

Anyway, the original plan was to pick it up again on Wednesday night, but that just didn't happen. So I launched back in last night (I find re-starting projects very hard, as there's always so much I've forgotten). All that's left are the collar, the sleeves, the hem and the buttons. The collar went on last night (at the second attempt; I was too lazy to tack it the first time round, with predictable results). I tried it on, kinda, to check we were on track. Not bad. I got up this morning, made up and hemmed the sleeves, and set them into the armholes. Now I try it on again. It's surprisingly hard to get into, doesn't fit at all any more, and I can't get it off again. What??? OK, sleeves occasionally affect the fit of a garment, but this is ridiculous. They are too small for me (thereby proving I really do have enormous, flabby upper arms, as I've always suspected), and effectively stop the top sitting on my shoulders as it should. So it twists, rides up, you name it. Ugh. And I still can't get it off. It's 7:40 by this time, and I actually have no choice but to wake poor J and ask him to get me out of it. We manage, just, I thank him, he goes back to sleep, and I stomp off to work in a huff. It's actually starting to seem amusing now, so I might try it again, with camera, to show the hideous effects of non-fitting sleeves.

So what now?? Well, I won't be wearing it this evening, that's for sure. And the diet will definitely continue. And I will be talking to the gym this lunchtime about flabby upper arms (I had an assessment booked anyway).

As far as the top goes, assuming I'm not just going to wait till I shrink into it, I have a few options. I could just finish it and sell it, which means I still have to work out the 'issues' if I'm to use the same pattern for my silk. And it would be a huge shame, because I really rather like fabric (despite its synthetickyness). I could take the sleeves off entirely and just bind the armholes (which is an option in the pattern), but I think the sleeves lift it into 'eveningwear' category and I rather like them. Or I can try and make the sleeves fit me. One way would be to cut out new, larger sleeves; another would be to attempt putting a gusset in under the arm of the existing sleeves. Hmmm. New sleeves are probably the best idea, assuming I have enough fabric left. I was very careful with the original ones to get the same motif centred on each sleeve – I don't suppose I'll be able to do that again. And I'm slightly scared of altering the 'cuff' circumference without making the sleeve head much larger – this shouldn't be a flared sleeve as such…

Bah humbug. And I still need to decide what to wear tonight.

Blogathon day

Two entries in one day?? Ooooooh, Matron! Or something. Anyone weirdly interested in how well I've been doing since I joined the gym that Jack goes to, the results of my first re-assessment (and comparison with my initial joining assessment), read on…

Neck measurement: exactly the same as before. Oddly.

Shoulder measurement: exactly the same as before.

Waist measurement: exactly the same as before.

Upper thigh measurement: 2cm bigger than before. Wahhhhh!!.

Hip measurement: 2cm less than before. Yay me.

Weird girly pressups acheived: last time: 5, this time: 27. Wooo-hooooo!!! This makes my upper body strength 'above average', though as soon as I hit 30, it'll be 'high'. Hmmm.

Crunches in one minute: last time: 34, this time: 37. (Whaddaya mean "fast crunches"? You makey no sense!)

Seated stretch reach: last time: 20, this time: 27. Apparently, that makes me 'excellent'. I think it might have something to do with me being 'tall'.

HR post-cardio recovery: last time: 100, this time: 96. Cool.

Body fat weight: last time: 23.3 kg, this time: 22.1 kg. Not bad. Gives body fat percentage of 29.5% (healthy range for women is 18 – 25% so stop telling me I don't need to be watching what I eat! I'm not going anorexic, dammit.) In fact, it backs up very neatly my goal of losing about a stone. Thanks. 😉

So, overall, I've lost *some* fat, gained some lean weight, and gained a lot of strength in the muscle I already had. In addition to which, my cardio fitness has increased measurably. Not bad. Goals for next three months: get down to 70kg, and work on those inner thighs and upper arms. Thankyouverymuch.

And speaking of diets, it appears that if I eat nothing further this afternoon, I will have a 'budget' of 495 calories for this evening at Brown's. That's about 1 Brandy Alexander, I think.

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