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Latest News

Not so much news, since it’s the normal state of affairs, but I’ve been very, very busy. To give you some idea of how busy, I wrote the first line of this post on the 6th June, it is now the 8th September. Yep, that busy! So what have I been up to, you may wonder. Conversely, you may not care a jot, but I’m going to tell you anyway and since you are here, you may as well make yourself a cuppa, pull up a pew, get comfortable and have a read.  

Where to begin? Well, as I said, I’ve been insanely busy, often working a seven days week: trading at events most weekends and dog-walking in between, which hasn’t left much time for anything much else. In fact, I’ve had to pull out more stops than a church organist to get some of my commissions and other work finished on time, and my stock has run seriously low. Fortunately, the summer trading season is all but over and I only have three more events this year, none of which involve sleeping outdoors. Yay!

Around the time that I started this post back in June, I decided that I needed to lose some weight. I switched to a low carb diet, mostly just cutting out bread, spuds, rice, pasta, cereals, sugar, etc., and dropped a stone in about a month. I’m still on low carb and still on a downward trend, albeit more slowly. The main thing is that I’m feeling good on it and have a lot more energy (boy, have I needed it!). Huzzah! 😀 

Whilst the heat over the summer made it quite easy to eschew those heat-generating carbs, it wasn’t making it easy to function, which inevitably led to almost daily escapes to the air-conditioned splendour of the local pub. Mostly to cool down and sometimes to eat, because who wants to cook in a heatwave! The low carb woe* meant that I wasn’t drinking beer or cider (too high in carbs), turning instead to a nice cold glass of white wine or Prosecco. One day in early July, however, I found myself perusing the extensive gin menu (including tasting notes) with a surprising degree of interest**.  Well, I dipped a toe in the wat…er…lip in the spirit and the result was, well, unbridled enthusiasm. It seems that what I didn’t like wasn’t particularly the gin (unless it was Gordon’s, which I still think is utterly vile), but the tonic. 

*It took me a little while to work out that this was an acronym for “way of eating” and not just people being depressed by their dietary choice.

**Those of you who know me (and my drinking habits) might be aware of the reluctance I have always had to drink something that smells like you should be dabbing it behind your ears. 

I am on hiatus at the moment***, but in the intervening two months, I have sampled 35 different gins and made notes on all of them. (Note: I said “sampled”, not “drank entire bottles of”…although, in one or two cases…). In short, I have been compiling my very own Gincyclopedia, all written out with fountain pen in my journal. All of which brings me neatly on to my next enthusiasm/project…

***I have gone “dry” for the month of September in aid of a Children’s Brain Cancer charity fundraiser being run by a good personal friend (so totally legit). If you’d like to donate, you can do so via Facebook here. 

You may or may not be aware of my weakness for stationery. I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty notebook, but about a year ago my love of fountain pens was rekindled and with it the discovery that ink comes in many, many, many more colours than blue, black and blue-black. OMG, does it come in colours! And shimmer…And sheen…oh my! As for the pens, where to even begin? I discovered a whole new world of pens way beyond my trusty school Parker and a few other nice, but largely unremarkable pens that I’ve picked up over the years. I now have a growing collections of pens and inks and a shopping habit that is getting increasingly expensive, but is, despite all the shiny, shimmery, colourful odds, reasonably almost sometimes under control. Given the growing collection, it seemed rude not to make use of them beyond merely scribbling answers at the weekly pub quiz. Thus, I have been trying to embrace journalling and the discipline of writing things down on paper, which it seems is a much better way to remember them than typing. The fun thing about it all is that I never know what colour my inky fingers will end up. Anyway, to get to the point, I have just signed up to do some reviews for United Inkdom, so watch this space 😀

In summary, things I have leant since the beginning of June:

  1. I do like gin (as long as it’s not Gordon’s)
  2. My love of things Japanese extends to pens, inks and gin (oh yes, Japanese gin!)
  3. I don’t miss carbs much, because…bacon
  4. Gin is considered low carb. Yay!
  5. My handwriting needs some quite a bit of work
  6. Probably some other stuff… but gin!
  7. I can do sober quite easily (Day 9 and counting) ;D

I have tried to keep this roundup fairly brief, but if you’d like to know more about anything I’ve written about today, just comment below. 


10 September 2018
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