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At the beginning of October there is a knitting show I attend as an exhibitor, and to which I cart a couple of machines and their ribbers, a table and a stand, lots of yarn, books and things to sell.
This year my daughter decided to go on holiday, and my husband decided he was ill, and someone decided to park cars in front of our house for days on end, so I could not load up the car in readiness.
I got up at seven thirty and started carrying things down to the front of the house, then brought the car as close as possible to load it. I drove to the venue, unloaded and set up for the ten o'clock start, then talked to people and sold things until 4 o'clock, when I packed up what was left and came home.
I have been unloading the car a bit at a time, I must confess, but I was quite pleased with myself for what I achieved on the day.
At the August Bank Holiday I went out to a gig with my morris side, the pub had promised water and other drinks, so when I realised I had forgotten my water bottles I did not go back for them.
The pub did not provide - not even much water, and although I was given some, and managed to get a drink at the bar, I became very overheated and stopped sweating. We were out in the blistering heat from 12 noon until after 4pm, and no one in the side wants to go back to the pub again.
Ever since then I have not had any appetite, and I feel changed.
I seem to be reducing a little in weight, and changing shape - I have lost the fat pads over my kidneys so that my kilts with shaped pleats gape at the back.
I have thrown away more food from the fridge in the last three weeks than in the last year.
My morning coffee often remains half drunk, I don't bother to make breakfast - it is now 6pm and I have not eaten anything today.
I don't feel ill, in fact I seem a little better than I was, but it is strange - and I think it shows that people can be affected quite by chance, by things which might seem entirely unlikely to alter their relationship with food.
I thought I would try this just to see what effect it might have - a cure for baldness perhaps - I have been taking it for just over a week - it seems it is a cure for insomnia - the last three nights I have been going to bed before midnight and getting up correspondingly earlier.
Tonight I was just going to do a few things around the house, and I am falling asleep - and it isn't even eleven o'clock.
I finally got a letter from my GP surgery - the one I thought would be about my diabetes and maybe - just maybe my defunct thyroid which has been totally ignored for years - since the year before my type two diagnosis.
No it is not instructing me to have blood taken for testing - it is a chat about diet and weight, drinking and smoking.
I had a phone call this morning from my GP surgery, and I thought it would be for the annual health check appointment which I should have had every year since I was 40 - and haven't.
No - it was someone asking about the flu jab.
I am pretty certain that I went to the open clinic to have it not too long ago, and I was given the pneumonia one as well, but I did not argue - the caller wanted me to decline it anyway.
I asked about the appointment around my birthday, just over 2 weeks away - nothing on the system.
Perhaps it is another department or another computer list - but I really think it is getting beyond a joke now.
Surely after diagnosis there should be some follow up - I was diagnosed in 2016 and have not seen my doctor since then.
Admittedly my family are mostly long lived and healthy, but even so it is getting rather concerning.
A friend of mine at the folk club was telling us that he was chided for being so pessimistic and having 'do not resuscitate' on his notes after a recent small operation. He had never been consulted about it, and most definitely did wish to be resuscitated in the event of needing it.
My October recipe was
200gm super seed mix from Lidl
150gm of ground almonds
1 cup of psyllium flour
1cup rye flour
2 cups of white bread flour
2 cups of chapatti flour (wholemeal)
1 tsp sugar
2 sachets yeast
2tsp baking powder
small amount of lard - warmed to soften
2 pints of warm water - you might need a bit more after kneading for a while.
Knead well, divide into 3 small loaf tins, spray the top with warm water and leave at 40 degrees C to rise. Probably needs 1 to 2 hours.
When risen, place in a preheated oven 180 degrees C - spray water onto loaves and into oven to make it steamy to start with, helps the bread to rise a bit more.
The psyllium makes the bread purple, but that is disguised by the seed mix and rye flour being brown.
Well - yesterday was the second anniversary of my diagnosis.
So far so good.
My kitchen sink blocked up, so today I had the job of moving things out of the way to get to the drain, finding it was blocked up, so then I needed to get the unblocker, a bucket and various accessories and get to work unblocking it.
So far the drains from two sinks have been undone and the gunge removed, and once the last one is reassembled normal service should be resumed.
Sometimes I am glad that I can and will tackle these jobs - but sometimes, when I am up to the eyebrows in - stuff - I wonder if I should be less practical and not so gung ho about it.
It would mean having to pay out money to other people, and to contrive to make dinner without a functional sink - so perhaps it isn't a sensible option really.
And it is Friday - I might have needed to wait until Monday to get a plumber to call.
No - far better to brave the slime and get it sorted out.
Onwards and upwards.
I bought a pack of potatoes a while ago and decided to put them in the fridge rather than in the bowl with the last of the others.
Having just opened the bag I found that an unfortunate slug had been packaged along with the potatoes, and it died in the cold depths of the fridge. I am such a softie.
We are, of course, living in the middle of a mass extinction and approaching the 'I wish I'd looked after my ecosystem' moment - but I do wish I'd found it sooner.....
My weight has been stable for some time, and I dropped my intake of carbs to below 40gm per day to try to restart the process of losing weight.I have seen my shape changing, and have felt very well for some time, but this morning I finally saw just a flicker of compliance - in that I am below 100kg again.
It is not quite back to the lowest level I reduced to, but I think the trigger for it is changing from salad to stews. They are based on a mix of veges which is less than 4 percent carbs, so it has been difficult to eat even the 40 gm of carbs I made my limit - plus I have eaten all of October's bread 'ration' and also sleeping late, after my husband has got up, so several hours undisturbed sleep. Whatever the cause, I will seek to encourage it.
Last weekend was the knitting machine exhibition - delayed from March, to which I was invited.
It was not until I went to the stand where all the monthly magazines were laid out that I realized that I had not been getting them recently, and when I checked at home later on, I realized that 'recently' was from the time I was diagnosed, back in November 2016.
I have arranged for all the back issues to be posted to me, if available, and also for a subscription - but as machine knitting is my profession, and interest too I am a bit dismayed to think that I never noticed that I was no longer supporting the last remaining magazine in the UK.
I can only put it down to the effects of the Metformin and Atorvastatin I took for a few weeks up to Christmas 2016 - but it was quite a shock to think that it is almost 2 years, and it never occurred to me that I was no longer getting a magazine I have been reading for decades.
Apart from not having any more of the milled seed mix the bread experiment is going fairly well - the bread I made for this month is quite good - I need to weigh the dough carefully before baking and calculate the percentage carbs. I know that there are a lot of lower carb ingredients included in my normal bread mix, so it has to be reduced carbs.
I think that if I could find some wheat gluten it would help with the rising - but most places which supply it are mail order and the cost to post is prohibitive.
I do have a dark brown bread which is no heavier than the protein bread I buy, and the recipe makes three small loaves.
I am tempted to add another cup of bread flour to the recipe and make four loaves, then freeze three and have one a week, rather than have all three loaves sitting on the worktop tempting me to eat them up before they go stale. I think that I could cope with a loaf a week if it is a small one, and baking them once every four weeks.
Finally got around to making another batch of bread and it seems to be just about rising with the amount of flour I am using, even with another cup of non gluten ingredient.
The recipe is now 4 cups of flour of various sorts - as per the first recipe, plus one cup of psyllium flour, a 200 gm bag of Alesto super seed mix 150gm of ground almonds, a small amount of lard, one tsp of salt one tsp sugar two pints of hot water, mixed and left overnight, then two sachets of yeast and kneaded next morning, Divided into 2 lots of 700gm in small tins and the rest in a slightly larger tin, then left in a warm place to rise.
When I turned the oven on to heat up I sprayed the top of the loaves with water to soften the crust, hoping for some extra rise as they warmed up before cooking.
The loaves needed to cook for quite a long time, and I removed from the tin and put them back inn the oven for ten minutes as they were still damp, turned off the oven and left the loaves in there.
This morning they are done, and although not so breadlike as the first lot they are perfectly edible. Cooking at 180 degrees C prevented the seeds from burning. My Lidl has stopped selling the super seed mix so I will try to find a substitute.
I tried to make some small loaves adding 1/2 a cup of psyllium flour and a cup of coconut flour to the recipe I used in July.
I had to add another pint of water to the dough to get it mixed, and then it did not rise much - and the result was rather like malt loaf.
It was just about edible, and it toasted well, but I really need some gluten on its own I think in order to make the dough retain the carbon dioxide from the yeast.
I will see what I can find for my next experiment next month.
My diabetes is well controlled now, and I want to keep it that way, but I used to like cheese or kippers with the Lidl rolls, and do miss them, so I have been thinking for some time about adding in lower carb 'fillers' to my standard bread recipe to see if I can reduce the impact of the bread flour, which is usually somewhere about 75 percent carbs. I can't get the specialist ingredients used by Lidl, but I thought that I would try to adapt my recipe to something I could manage to eat. I also have a lot of flour around from before I was diagnosed which would be rather a waste to just throw away.
My July recipe was
2 cups of bread flour
1 cup of rye flour
1 cup of chapati flour
a small amount of lard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of psyllium flour
200 gm of mixed milled seeds from Lidl - linseed chia and something else
1 tsp sugar
water to make a dough just too wet to knead - mix with a strong spatula or even garden trowel (I have a stainless steel one I keep just for the mixing of bread, and a large stainless steel bowl too).
Leave the dough overnight for the gluten to develop.
There was about 2 Kg of dough which I divided up into two large loaf tins.
Next day mix in 2 sachets of fast acting yeast, knead well and put the dough into loaf tins in a warm place to rise, spray with a fine mist of water from time to time. Allow several hours and at least double in size - I call this brick bread as my previous loaves were white and fluffy, but it is not too bad if allowed a long rise. Once risen I removed it from the oven and increased the temperature to about 190 degrees C - the figures came off the dial surround long ago. I put in a bowl of water to make it humid and baked the loaves for 25 minutes then allowed them to cool out of the oven and took them out of the tins, but found they were still slightly damp underneath so I reheated the oven without the bowl of water, turned it off and then put the loaves in there to dry off.
I would normally cook bread at a higher temperature, but the milled seed mix burns at 200 degrees, so slightly lower is better.
After so long without bread it was far too good.
My Hba1c is 42 - though really, with the heat and net sleeping well, and going back to work I suppose I could not really have expected anything very low - the boxes of strawberries might well have had something to do with it - and the melons nicely chilled in the fridge...
At least the practice is taking some notice again.
A suggestion to take statins was the first response.