Good morning. This is the sight which greeted me as I opened the curtains at 7am, oh no, not more snow! It's getting a tad annoying now, especially as it's getting quite close to the date when I set off on my long walk. According to the weather reports we should be expecting it to be cold, with rain and snow, untill the end of the month. It's not clear whether it will be gone by the time Easter arrives at the beginning of April. I am going to have to do some serious thinking here, whether to postpone the walk untill the weather picks up, or to say stuff it, just do it anyway. I don't much like the idea of trudging mile after mile getting drenched to the skin. Although my waterproofs are pretty good at keeping the worst off me, if the weather doesn't improve, it's going to be more like an ordeal rather than a happy challenge. I'll make a decision soon.
My apologies for not posting last night. My broadband connection sometimes throws a wobbly and simply disappears off the face of the earth. I tried closing the computer and router down and then starting up again, which worked for a while, but half an hour later it was lost again. I decided that the best options was to say stuff it and make a start on another car body panel art project. I was thinking I want to make small holes in the panel and tried drilling, but that didn't work too well. Then I thought, aha, it's plastic so I can melt it. Yep, heat a nail up on a gas flame, held with pliers, and it quickly cuts through it. Good, now I can get on with an idea I have.
I think you might have noticed by now that I've enabled word verification. To be honest, the spammers were doing my head in, all automatic of course. Masses of them, every two minutes, were coming in. It has been such a relief these last 24 hours to see that now they are blocked, I have no spam comments at all. I am sorry that I have had to inconvenience you in this way, I hate word verification myself, and know how difficult it is to see the gobboldygook we are supposed to copy into the little box. Don't be confused if I suddenly change the settings back, I want to see if intermittent on/off makes any difference to the spam bots, how long does it take them to recognise changes in status. It's woman against a machine, and I suspect machine will win. It's quite worrying really, the way computers can rule our world.
Anyway, what shall I talk about now? A couple of things I have seen on a forum, which are linked in a way. Have you noticed when people want to make changes in their life, they seem to go about it arse about face. I'm talking about money saving here, tightening the belt, and cutting back, though the same thing also happens when they want to lose weight, start growing veg, stop smoking, or get fit.
The will is there to start making these changes, but then they feel they need to spend money to achieve their goal. As I have demonstrated in my fitness video, you don't actually need to spend money to get fit. Yes, I bought a cross trainer, because I find that fun to use, and I saved up for it. I deliberately put it in my living room so I can do a few laps at anytime. I didn't actually need it, but I do actually use it. How many people have exercise equipment out of sight in their spare bedroom, shed, or garage, bought in a flurry of well meaning enthusiasm. And how many people actually make time to use it, or is it a case of out of sight out of mind. So, what's arse about face where buying exercise equipment is concerned? Just looking at the rowing machine or exercise bike does not make you fit. Nope. Putting some music on and dancing around the living room, is cheap and good for you. A bit of skipping, stepping, and stretching is good for you, and it's free, no equipment needed.
Have you noticed how many people are hung up about following a particular weight loss diet. They read about a new idea in a magazine, and think, oh, I'll try that. Weighing portions, counting calories, buying shakes, the this and that diet. They end up constantly thinking about food and spending more money at the health food store. They buy more gadgets for their already full to bursting kitchen cupboards, which eventually get donated to a charity shop because they have lost interest. Being on a diet is pants, it makes you spend money, don't do it. So how can I talk about dieting, because I have no need to lose weight? Well I do know a bit about it, I crept up to almost 11 stone while I was driving, stuffing my fat face with all mannner of crap. My diet was mainly heart attack material. Why do you think I don't need to diet now? Because I eat healthy food, end of. The ocassional chocolate bar, or biscuit, or ice cream, does pass my lips, but as a treat. So, what's arse about face where weight loss diets are concerned? It makes you focus on food which gives you a feel good boost if you are down, rather than food which you need to keep your body alive. There is a difference. On a diet you feel deprived of all the nice things that you can't eat, you feel sorry for yourself, and have a treat, and another, and another. I have trained myself to love steamed vegetables. Simple food can be just as nutritious if you vary it, and costs less, so a bonus there.
I'm on a roll now, what's the next arse about face example. Growing veg. There are two reasons why people start growing their own veg, (1) to save money, and (2) home grown veg tastes nicer. Good reasons. If you are in it to save money, like I am, it's a bit arse about face to go to a garden centre and buy a spade, a fork, and loads of tools you think you might need. Then buy a greenhouse with all the paraphenalia that goes with it, flower pots, staging, the list is endless, one thing leads to another. The gravel to put on the floor of the greenhouse, the slabs to lay around the outside of it, so it looks neat and tidy. OMG, it's got to look neat and tidy. You're growing vegetables to eat, they grow in muck, nothing neat and tidy about that. You can get loads of free stuff for your veg garden out of skips, from neighbours who want to get rid of something, from freecycle and freegle. All I bought was a few bags of compost to get my seeds started and get my raised beds going. I scrounged loads of hoss muck from horse owning friends, and turned my own kitchen and garden waste into compost. Spending money to save money is arse about face.
Ok, so I admit it, the next example is something which I know very little about. How to give up smoking. I have never smoked so I haven't experienced how hard it is to give up. I can only write about how I see it, from my common sense approach. I think we all recognise that tobacco is a poweful drug, once hooked it's very difficult to go back. In my mind, arse about face comes into this when you substitute one method of getting a nicotine fix, with another. So you stop the fags, and start on the patches. Or you get the electronic version because you feel lost without something in your hand. So, by delaying the outcome of stopping smoking you merely put it on hold for a while. You want to let yourself down gently, you feel lousy and you need a crutch to prop yourself up while you experience withdrawal symptoms. A bit arse about face if you want to ditch the dreaded weed permanently. I don't want to turn this into a lecture because addiction of any kind can be crippling. If you try and give up, and fail, keep trying. If cutting down is not working, try cold turkey.
One more example of arse about face. A woman does an online shop and spends £155, she is chuffed that she has chosen some special offers that have given her a reduction of £27, money that she feels has been given to her. Erm, no, it was hers in the first place. She thinks she is in profit, and this idea could be taken up by others to help them pay off their debts. I agree that buying multiples of the same item if it is on offer is a good thing, but only if you actually need them, and can be sure of using them. Having a mini version of Tesco in your pantry is not good housekeeping, it can get out of control, and becomes hoarding. She doesn't say if she did an inventory of her cupboards and freezer before she placed this large order, whether she had worked out how long it would last her, and whether the stuff was actually needed. I have never done an online shop, but I suspect that you could easily get carried away ticking the boxes, a bit like being let loose in a sweet factory. Tick a box, oh, we'll have this, and we'll have that while we're at it. Might as well chuck that in the trolley as well. I can't see that curbing your spending is any easier when shopping on line. If your instinct is to buy whatever you like, then justify it by focussing on how much you have saved on special offers, your spending is out of control. Seems a bit arse about face to me.
I think I'd better stop now. It's going to take you a few days to trawl through this lot. You've got double rations this morning, two posts in one. My fingers have set the keyboard on fire, ha ha.
Lunch time. Toodle pip.