that Paul has done a post

Just a quickie for tonight (oh aye) – James is stuck in his fancy office doing work and will be ’til the early hours. He’ll be like a hairier Quasimodo hanging from the town clock pining for a bit of quark come two o’clock. I’ve just come home from a meeting too so an unproductive evening on the website front, so apologies for that. Tomorrow though a spanking new recipe, I promise!

Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading the next part of my story. Please do feel free to leave feedback! This follows on from my earlier post here about my foray into cooking (or not)…

Not long after that I landed in Portsmouth. Despite living in a gorgeous house it was also stuffed with two 60-year old, orgy-loving, dungeon dwelling S&M queens (really gross, believe me), it was handily located on top of a massive hill which meant that every day I had to walk up the bastard thing to get home from the train station (getting down was alright, I just rolled). Couple that with having even less money to spend on food meant that I was pretty quickly shedding weight and lost nearly half of it in all the time I was there. I even skirted XL at one point. My diet though was still pretty bad – the first meal I made James when he came to see me was a cheese sandwich made on stale bread and stale cheese (y’know, when it looks like a cracked heel) and a stolen Petit Filous yoghurt from my housemate Fabian. He still wolfed it down though, the little trooper. It was the exercise, though, and the fact I HAD to do it (I couldn’t afford a bus!) that meant the weight had no choice really but to go down. It was quite nice at times. The hill was still knackering but it did become easier, and I was still eating all the things I loved. I started to notice though that I’d get very dizzy and when I played around with the blood glucose meter at work it was always a little too high for my liking. I tried to eat more healthily although I didn’t really know how to cook anything, but I could never last long because I just didn’t have the money in the first place to buy healthy things, nor have the foresight to actually plan things in advance to see things through the whole month (I was still having to buy food at the first opportunity, before my money went on debts!).

And so it pretty much just carried on like that until we finally moved in together Oop North. Our financial situation was much better meaning we could buy stuff that wasn’t convenience or just pure crap, and James was quite adept at throwing together a few different meals. We managed quite well, losing a little bit of weight here and there, before we finally joined Slimming World a few years later and wanted to do things properly. I started giving a few simple recipes a go, like the good ol’ Mince ‘n’ Mash (with real round potatoes!) and branching out into other things. I still remember the feeling of pride I had when I made my first ever spaghetti bolognese and served it up to an equally impressed James. I started experimenting even more with different things, still keeping it simple though, and relying on the Slimming World books like the One Pot ones and the ‘Extra Easy Express’ that nearly always meant that quick equalled easy.

We then moved into our current, gorgeous house, Cubs Towers and with it came a new kitchen that we were able to design (with the help of the Ikea man, natch) that we could make our own, and weed out those little annoyances we’d had in our old places, like no worktop space or a sink that was too small. We stuffed it full of no-end of gadgets (like the ones here and a load of books so that cooking could actually be fun. Armed with some pretty decent equipment (for once!) and no end of room I really started to branch out and develop my skills, something which I’m still doing even now! I still struggle with anything too complex but at least now I’ll give it a go and most of the time it works out alright. And that’s probably the best bit of advice I could give anyone – just try it! If you take the time and able to learn from your mistakes, just try it. Nothing bad can really happen if you get it wrong (except setting yourself on fire and getting salmonella, I suppose…) and if you get it right it means that you’ll become even more confident and competent. Looking back over some of the recipes I’ve cooked I really am quite surprised at how they’ve come out, given that a few years ago I couldn’t work a George Foreman grill.

Next, I’d really like to take a catering course. Not that I see myself becoming a professional chef in the future (Christ no, I couldn’t contain myself) but really just for fun and to develop my skills even more. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up on the telly. Hopefully thinner and more photogenic by that point, mind. And I wouldn’t mind more hair. Perhaps a boob lift too. Oh the possibilities are endless!

And there we have it. G’neet!