Archive for August, 2007

the first day

choco.jpgThis morning I got another good breakfast and piled some chocolates into my handbag. We walked as a group to the site where the meetings were being held. I didn’t really manage to keep up, but one of the others walked with me most of the way. The other two women who were there were NOT in high heels, and I was. My mistake. By the time we arrived I’d stumbled once (I was so far behind that nobody noticed) and developed a painful blister on the back of my left foot. I also looked exhausted, pink, sweaty, and totally messy.

I guess that the weekly yoga and swimming isn’t really doing enough to keep me high-heels-fit. Not only that – I’m a good seven kilograms heavier than the last time I walked for any distance in heels. I really felt that today.

After work I took the tram back to the hotel (everybody else walked) because I just knew that I’d either fall on my face if I tried to walk, or I’d give up and sit down in the middle of the footpath in tears wailing “but it HURTS”. The walk to the train only took five minutes (hobbling speed), I waited another five for the 7B tram, and the ride took five more. I arrived a few seconds before the rest of the group. Tomorrow I’m going to go there in the tram as well, they can take their fresh air brisk walk and shove it as far as I’m concerned.

At the hotel reception I got some plasters to patch myself up, and a softer pillow – here they offer a whole ‘pillow menu’ to choose from.

In the evening I went to the supermarket for some snacks, and when I came back I ended up in the lift with one of the women. We are both stuck at the VERY end of a corridor and I explained to her that the walk from the lift to my room alone was enough – walking to work as well was just too much. I also dropped a hint about how much more weight I’m carrying and that it makes it more difficult. When I told her that I’m also seven months along, she looked at me with total shock and disbelief. Once she got over herself she told me to look after myself. Which of course is what I’m doing. A supermarket shop that includes five snickers for two Euros IS looking after myself. Isn’t it?

Anyway, now I have to decide whether I can handle wearing heels again tomorrow or if I’ll risk going casual. The bad ache on the top of my foot, at the ankle joint, is telling me that I won’t manage in heels tomorrow. I also remember now that pregnant women are recommended against things like certain sports and high heels not because of any danger inherent in the sport or the shoebaby_phat.gif, but because of the risk of falling. Even on my way to the tram I went over on my heel a bit. For the sake of the foetus, I’m going to have to go with flats tomorrow. I’ll try to be sitting by the time the client comes in and anyway, they probably won’t notice. I might even dare go with my new H&M jeans, my black Baby Phat trainers and a pretty jumper that will make at least my half top look smart.

August 27, 2007 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

good eats and new jeans

Holiday Inn Pasila breakfast:

  • smoked rainbow trout
  • herring in tomato sauce
  • herring in herb sauce
  • brown bread roll
  • brie cheese
  • edam cheese
  • sliced cucumber
  • mixture of muesli, cornflakes, and branflakes
  • dried fruit
  • fresh fruit salad
  • mixed berries
  • berry yoghurt

fazermint1.jpgAs I didn’t have a handbag on me, I left with only three chocolates. Tomorrow I’m hoping to manage more, as I’m sure I’ll need them to get me through the work day.

Later, I caught a tram into the city and went shopping at H&M. There was a mercifully small amount of wearable stuff there, so I only got jeans and a top. I think I might have to get these jeans shortened because they’re sort of skinny leg and none of my heels will really work with them. Hopefully they’ll work with my flat shoes … otherwise I’ll be forced to buy some ballet flats or whatever the hell I’m supposed to wear with skinny leg jeans.

August 26, 2007 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment

the joy of travel

As I stood in the queue to check in to my flight to Frankfurt yesterday, I realised that with my airpoints card I had actually earned the right to queue with the business class flyers. I asked for a window seat, as far to the front of the plane as possible (I hear the air’s a bit cleaner up there). She asked if an exit seat would be acceptable, and of course I said it would, because I know that those seats are all about the leg room. She gave me my boarding passes, which were made out to the wrong name. I had explained to the travel agent that both of my passports, my ID card, and all my airpoints cards were now in my new, married name; he told me that he’d made sure that the change was registered for my e-ticket. Clearly, it wasn’t. The woman at the counter told me that there was no record of my new name in their system, and that the boarding cards would be fine with the old name.

My first stop after passport control was the duty free electronics store to decide whether there was any point in buying a microwave. There wasn’t. Onward to the perennial highlight – the lounge! Some dude was trying to get in with his wife and his generally unpleasant manner turned into a full-blown tantrum when it was suggested that he wasn’t allowed to bring a guest. Of course, the strongest survive and why whisper when you can shout and no-one was going to say no to him; they both got in.

The rest of my stay in the lounge was uneventful – some soup, an apple, a roll and some olive spread, not much else. When we boarded I found to my dismay that my row, 33, was not actually at the emergency exit, but one row behind. And that my seat, J, was not a window seat, but a middle seat. This turned out to be beside a fairly normal woman, and a man with the most vile breath imaginable. There also seemed two be a wind tunnel straight from his mouth to my nose. At one point I hung my blanket between my head and my upraised book, to form a protective shield against the monstrosity of his exhalations.

When the food came he made sure to order the stinky fish and slurp his noodles … and least I could cancel out that noise with some airline radio. I had the chicken – on a bed of watery mashed potato and with a side of okra. It was a tough 3 hours and 45 minutes – made worse still by the movie: the very crummy Astronaut Farmer … which was also on one of the last flights I took earlier this year.

The second flight was nicer – a smaller, crappier plan, but the flight took about half the time, there were half the amount of people on board, we got another meal and it was very tasty, and I had easy access to multiple water bottle refills because there weren’t throngs of people crowding the aisles.

August 26, 2007 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

addled pregnancy brain

If I thought I was stupid on Friday for leaving the pear out of my Pear, Blue Cheese, Walnut and Pecan salad, I didn’t know anything yet. Yesterday evening I hosted book club – a bunch of lovely women and lots of piles of books.

I prepared a nice little tuna dip with tinned tuna, sour cream, 5% white cheese, and a bit of tabasco. I put out pretzels and potato chips and candied peanuts and olives and biscuits. But I didn’t put out the grapes. The only reason I BOUGHT the grapes was to provide them at book club! How are we going to get through all those grapes alone?

And I only remembered that I’d forgotten to put them out this minute – about 16 hours later.

I have a feeling that making very detailed lists is going to be the only way to get through this pregnancy and still manage to see a thought through from beginning to end.

And next week I’m travelling for work … I going to have to tie my passport to my waist and hang my laptop around my neck if I really don’t want to humiliate myself with my increasing forgetfulness.

August 23, 2007 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

still pregnant

Just in case anyone’s reading this for pregnancy updates, Friday saw the beginning of a very weird dry skin phenomenon. Three of the fingers on my right hand became very suddenly very dry – the skin got a bit flaky and thin. I moisturised a few times a day but it basically went away by itself – yesterday it was chronic; this morning it was gone!

Today I’m wearing an Old Navy sleeveless white maternity top sent by my mother-in-law with my TopShop jeans – I’m still managing to feel like I have heaps of clothes because I’m slowly introducing the things she sends.

The “you’re so small!” and “you’re that far along?” and “where is it?” comments continue not much abated at 26 weeks, even from professionals like shop assistants in baby gear stores who I really thought would know better. And still, I wish there was one easy word that I could say that would express the fact that I’m sick of that attitude, that I’ve decided that I’m the perfect size, and that they should shut their judgemental mouths. I think that their insistence on passing judgement on my size has something to do with the very Israeli combination of always having an opinion that must be shared, and always making other peoples’ business their own.

Although in general I’ve been full of beans and not lacking any energy, yesterday after lunch I hit a wall. About an hour after lunch I was overcome with a fit of apathy and exhaustion that lasted a good half hour. When I got home I was a bit more chipper, and we managed to go out for a couple of hours to do some essential furniture shopping, but by the time we got home from that I was done, and felt like vegetating. I even watched an entire Law & Order – my brain was moving so slowly it was the only television that made sense. My fabulous hubby warmed me up some Friday night leftovers, brought me water, and encouraged me to put my feet up.

Maybe my body is still feeling a bit weak, though, because at the supermarket today I had an irresistible urge (to be more accurate: an urge that I didn’t resist) to buy lots of chocolate. I didn’t go too crazy – peanut M&Ms, plain M&Ms, and two bars of cow chocolate, one with exploding bits.

 

August 21, 2007 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

friday night dinner menu

Last week, we hosted a couple of friends for Friday night dinner. On account of my being relatively anti-social and pretty lazy, this is quite a rare occurrence. I won’t speak on behalf of my husband here, because he’s not anti-social to the same degree and is certainly not lazy.

As I’m the kind of person who shapes her life around what’s for dessert, I decided to make a dairy meal, so that we could all enjoy cheesecake for afters.

 

In the middle of the week I did most of the shopping necessary, and then on Friday morning bought hallot and salad greens. The final menu was something like this:

  • Olives from the bulk bins:
    • Little green cracked Syrian olives from the bulk bin – I tasted about five types before settling on the ones that I got
    • Big black Kalamata olives
    • Big black cracked marinated olives
    • The mistake I made a couple of times with tinned olives (that necessitated the preparation of olivada) has put me off the tins for a while, and there’s a really good variety of bulk olives at the supermarket
  • Chopped egg
  • Pickled cucumbers
  • Sweet hallot – one sesame seeded and one not
  • Gazpacho soup
  • Pear, blue cheese, walnut, and pecan salad
  • Rice and spinach bake

It might not sound like such a glamorous or generous menu, but by the time we got to the main dish (the rice and spinach bake) we could hardly fit a thing, and we had to have a bit of a rest before starting on the cheesecake.

August 21, 2007 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

gazpacho recipe

There wasn’t one particular recipe that I followed for this. I browsed all over the place trying to find an idea recipe and didn’t manage to locate one. As one of the guests doesn’t eat capsicums, I cut those out – they tend to feature in most gazpacho recipes. As the other guest doesn’t eat coriander, I finely chopped parsley and coriander and put them on the table in separate dishes.

Following is more or less how I made this dish:

Ingredients

  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 3 cucumbers
  • half a white onion
  • half a red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • half a green chilli
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/8 cup of apple vinegar (red wine vinegar can be used)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion into chunks. Place vegetables, garlic, and chilli into food processor and process until everything is in tiny chunks. Add lime, vinegar, and oil; mix in. Taste and add more vinegar as required. Refrigerate for at least a few hours.

August 21, 2007 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

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