29 September 2007

Another few grams lost....

29 Sep 2007
Weight - 70.5 kgs = 11.1 stone = 155.5 pounds
Steps yesterday - 5114

Would you look at that, I've lost 1 kilo (2.2lbs) in 5 days, not bad but expecting it to level off any day now! When you think of it as the equivalent of 2lbs of butter it sounds like a lot :). Not that I've noticed it much, my jeans are still too tight for me!
Well, my cold/bug/whatever it is isn't any worse or any better today, still feeling queasy with a pounding head and sore throat. I don't think I'll go out in the sun today, it's looking quite hot out there - oh no I hear you saying, the rot has set in, she's giving up already! Well yes you could be right but then again maybe you're wrong - we'll see next week. I'm busy all day tomorrow, on my computer with my DSP friends in a day long chat & cropping session. I'll do some catch up walking next week if the weather permits. In the meantime I found this fun quiz on Samara's blog.

My pirate name is:

Iron Mary Rackham

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you're a tough person. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

28 September 2007

Day Five

28 Sep 2007
Weight - 70.6 kgs = 11.1 stone = 155.7 pounds
Steps yesterday - 6,222

Well that's got rid of the fluid, now to work on the fat! Last night I started to get a tickly throat and I didn't sleep well so wasn't feeling the best this morning, I must be coming down with some sort of a bug I guess. It was another nice day so I still went for my walk but not too far, just a quick one around the block again. I did stop to take a few photos of some Wax-eye birds flitting around a Kowhai tree. Was hoping to go further afield tomorrow but it all depends on this bug now - my legs were complaining a bit on my walk this morning, strained muscles I think!
You need to look hard to see him in this one!

Not good lighting on this one, fixed it a bit in PS but still dark.

Love the colour of these blossoms.

And these miniature rambling roses were peeking over someone's fence.

That's it for today I'm afraid. If we don't go out tomorrow it will be next week as I'll be busy all day Sunday.

27 September 2007

Day Four

27 Sep 2007
Weight - 70.7 kgs = 11.1 stone = 155.9 pounds
Steps yesterday - 10,562

This morning my body was protesting loudly after the exertions of yesterday so I took just a leisurely stroll around the block. It is such a lovely day again that I didn't want to miss any of it.
Yesterday when the girls were here we went to look for the eels in the creek which runs through our property in a small area of bush. We didn't find any eels but on the ground I saw this Banana Passionfruit which I pounced on immediately. This plant thrives in NZ to the point that it is starting to take over our native bush so it has been declared a noxious weed, which is a shame because the fruit are so delicious.

This morning I had it for breakfast with muesli, grapes, yoghurt & trim milk.

On my walk I came across these men working on the electricity lines.

Awhile later I was going past the local primary school where I saw this wonderful painted wall in the playground, it must be new as I've never noticed it before.

This tree was a riot of bloom, I don't know the name of this one, yet, will try to identify it from my book collection. I really liked the way the dappled sun was on the flowers.

I'm not quite sure if this bush is a Manuka/TiTree or a Kanuka, they both look very similar. In fact up until a few moments ago I had never heard of a Kanuka before. The Manuka or TiTree is a native of NZ and honey from the Manuka flower has antibacterial properties and can be used as a natural treatment for many external and internal conditions.

This is the flower of the Bottlebrush tree, a native of Australia. You might think it is the same as the Pohutukawa flower that I posted a few days ago but this one has a cylindrical brush like flower hence the nickname 'Bottlebrush'.

And so back home once more. This is the grassy piece of land at the junction of two streets where our houses are. We only own half of it and this is what happens to the council's half when it's election time - this one is for our local council elections - what an awful eyesore!

Right, time for a nap I think!

26 September 2007

I'm Pooped!

As at 8am 26 Sep 2007
Weight - 71 kgs = 11 stone 2lbs = 156.6 pounds
Total steps yesterday - 6740

Today I was looking after granddaughters Lauren & Becky for the day as it's the school holidays here. It was a beautiful day without any threat of rain for a change so we walked around to our local Manawa Wetlands. While I sat in the sun to soak it all up they did the normal kid thing and ran around feeding the ducks and generally enjoying themselves.

This is one of our native birds, the Pukeko, a cousin of the bird you might know as the Swamphen.

A cute family of ducks, I was interested to see there were four very light brown babies compared to the rest of them.

The girls feeding the ducks.

The is a Lesser Black-Backed Gull in it's first year plumage. Becky was sneaking up on it trying to get a pat but no luck!

Two silly dillies!

After we left the wetlands we went to the greengrocers and saw this lovely pelargonium spilling out of the fence of the garden centre.

And so at home once more, this is the group of town-houses we live in, the one with the car parked in the drive is ours.

Another lot of healthy stuff! I was thrilled to see the new seasons Asparagus, it means summer is on it's way. The apples are still the cold-storage ones from last year unfortunately. Grapes from California and I shouted myself to a Californian plum but it doesn't look that delicious really, probably still hard & green! The red fruit next to the yellow kiwifruit is a Tamarillo, used to be known as the Tree Tomato - because it looks like a tomato and grows on a tree.

On our way back to drop the girls home I saw this rather incongruous sight - a Los Angeles Police SWAT van - what on earth is it doing parked in a suburban street in NZ!

So as to step up my stepping so to speak Dennis dropped me off before we reached their place. They live in the bush of Titirangi and it's a haven for birds, I always love to walk along their street, the same street I took the photos of the Wood Pigeons & Tui a few weeks ago. Today I was lucky enough to get a few shots of another Tui before it flew off. One of these days I hope to get one in the right light!

Then this Monarch butterfly flew past and very kindly settled on the grass long enough for me to get a good shot or two.

Then I came across one of our beautiful native Kowhai trees just starting to bloom.

And finally my favourite shot of the day before we came home.

So now I'm pooped and off to bed with my sore feet! Just to top the lovely day off I'm definitely going to make my 10,000 steps today - I can tell from the aching muscles.....

25 September 2007

Day Two

Weighed myself this morning and was surprised to see I'd lost 20 grams already LOL, down to 71.3 kgs. I took a few photos of me standing on the scales but I just couldn't post them here, the scales are made of glass & chrome and you know what that does to a photo! So I just cut the weight from one photo and added it to a photo of the scales when I wasn't standing on them. I was intrigued to see that I weighed .5 less when I weighed myself without holding the camera and yet when I tried weighing the camera it didn't register! So here's the photo, keep in mind the weight includes the camera :).

71.8 minus .5 camera weight
71.3 kgs = 11.2 stone or 157.2 pounds.

And here's a photo of me in all my glory! Face lift anyone? Taken with a flash, note the use of dark slimming colours :).

I had to do some shopping this morning so thought I'd walk home the long way, this is what greeted me as I came out of the Mall even though you can see blue sky.

So today's PhotoWalk didn't happen although I did take this photo while juggling an umbrella. The town square is dotted with small trees that have these unusual blossoms.

I bought lots of healthy food to help me with my diet today, note lots of nearly 'fat free' stuff. All very well but you still need to be careful of the sugar content, all of these are also low in sugar. I don't diet as such but I do like the basic ideas of 'The South Beach Diet'. The Bad Carbs vs Good Carbs and the same for Fats. Anything that is 'white' is out including bread, rice, potatoes, flour, sugar etc, they are the bad carbs. The good carbs include brown rice, full grain bread and most nuts amongst other things. Potatoes are the only vegetable I don't eat - well except for those I don't like :). These fresh fruits should be avoided - bananas, watermelon and pineapple, all high in sugar content. The good fats are - Olive Oil including Extra Virgin but not Light, Avocado and Canola (Rapeseed).

Oh yes, the Aloe Vera Moisturiser is for my sore feet!
I've gone over my 5,000 steps today so still on track.

A Trek to New Chums Beach

Okay one last thing before I hit the hay - this is the last LO on our holiday weekend back at the start of June, the second one of seven pages even though I've done it last! Below is what the journalling on the page says, I copied most of it from a blurb I found on the Internet.

Reaching this beach means taking a 30-min walk, wading through the estuary at the northern end of Whangapoua Beach, follow the shoreline & you'll find a track that crosses the low point in the headland saddle over to the scenic New Chums Beach. It'll be worth the walk, for you too will get to meet a stunning stretch of golden sand, fringed by pohutukawa trees and native forest, which is deserted much of the year, and you’ll see for yourself just why this little piece of paradise has hit the international limelight. In 2006, the Observer rated this shy stretch of sand as one of the Top 20 Beaches in the World. So just where is the beach that's reached international celebrity status, and how come many Kiwis are unaware of its existence? New Chums Beach is in Wainuiototo Bay, north-west of Whangapoua Beach and approximately 15 kilometres NE of Coromandel.


Love the comments thank you. A few have asked about how I count my steps, it's called a Pedometer, a little gadget that you should be able to get from your chemist/drugstore/health shop that clips onto the waistband or pocket of your jeans etc. At the end of the day you reset it and start again next morning, easy as pie. Mine is an Omron HJ-005, probably out of date now but there are many different makes on the market. Yay I made it over the 5000 steps today!

What an awful photo - why do I have so much trouble taking flash photos I wonder. Here's a better picture of the same one in a different colour. Interesting to note that 10,000 steps is about 5 miles and that it helps to burn 2000 to 3500 calories per week. Put that together with a sensible diet and you have the makings of your old self again LOL.
Off to bed now, unfortunately the forecast for tomorrow isn't looking too good once more.

24 September 2007

These shoes are made for walking.....

Crikey, I didn't know it had sound too!

New start

Today I started on my new programme to get fit & lose weight. I thought I would chronicle my progress here so I hope it won't frighten you all away! I weighed myself this morning - more than I thought, isn't it always - 71.5kgs in my birthday suit - no photo sorry, didn't want to frighten you off completely!
I know that 10,000 steps EACH day is the optimum amount everyone should do to keep fit & healthy, at the moment I'm just aiming for 5,000 a day, no use going overboard ;). From now on I go for my walk as soon as I get up otherwise I just keep putting it off. This morning it was threatening to rain so I took my umbrella, I knew it wouldn't rain then! I called into the hairdressers for a hair cut then walked home around the block, after stopping to take a few photos it took me ¾hr and 4842 steps, not bad but I can do better. Here I am stepping out.

I took a video on my camera of my legs walking, I'll have to see if I can put it online somehow, first time I've used my camera to take a movie.

Down one of the streets were all these trees growing on the grass berm, all bursting with buds and about to burst forth. When I got up close to take a photo I was fascinated to see the colour of the buds. It looked for all the world like someone had moved from tree to tree painting the buds black. I've been down this street hundreds of times but have never noticed that before, obviously the trees aren't that spectacular but I did like the buds.

I love this Weeping Willow tree and have photographed it many times without much success as to getting it looking as lovely as it does in real life - today I tried a different approach, up closer and with the flash, a bit better I think.

This is one of my favourite Pelargoniums, Midnight Sun, and today it was gloriously blooming in a few gardens as well as along the side of the road. Must get a cutting next time I go past.

This is the flower of our native tree the Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), popularly known as the NZ Christmas Tree. They say the earlier it flowers the longer our summer will be - roll on summer! I think this one is a cousin of our NZ tree coming from the Kermadec Islands.

Another sign of Spring - a beautiful Rhododendron. The sun was in the wrong place to get a good shot of it but I'm not complaining after waiting so long for the sun to arrive!

And so back home again! Another episode tomorrow hopefully. Anyone like to join me - even if not physically we could do it virtually.

23 September 2007

The Mighty Civic

The Civic continued....read previous post first

The last post was getting rather long and very tedious - if anyone knows how to upload a photo so that it goes into the spot you want it to go instead of right at the start please let me know!

The Civic was the brain child of Thomas A O'Brien who said 'It has been our great endeavour to give to you, the people of Auckland, Queen City of the Dominion, a Theatre worthy of the progressive spirit of its citizens. May you spend many happy hours under the star-lit vaulted sky of the Civic'.
I did indeed spend many happy hours as a child growing up watching movies at the Civic, when very young I used to worry that it was going to rain and we would all get wet, no-one ever told me the sky and the twinkling stars were really underneath a roof! Again I didn't get any good pictures of the twinkling sky - and clouds rolling by - but if you click here Shazzt has one. This is a postcard of the Circle foyer including the original painting (fully restored after years of neglect & nicotine staining & now behind glass) that had the people coming in droves to see it, for 1929 it was quite controversial!

After the tour on our way home I was intrigued by this banner above Queen St.

After catching the train home again we called into one of our local restaurants, The Acacia, for dinner where I had pumpkin & brie soup and whitebait fritters with lime tartare sauce.

One last photo of the spring poppies in the gardens before we wended our weary way home after a lovely day out.

Well, the sun has come out now so I might be able to talk Dennis into going for another walk today!

The Civic Picture Theatre

Chalk one up for me - we actually beat the weather this weekend! Yesterday was such a lovely day we decided to catch the train into the city for our weekly photowalk instead of today which isn't looking too good, although I must say it's not raining. The Auckland Heritage Festival is on until the 30 Sept and they are having free guided tours and all sorts of things in and around the city. I've always loved the old Civic theatre which back in 2000 was reopened after a 40.8 million dollar refurbishment. It is what is known as an Atmospheric Theatre, so-called because it is designed to evoke the outdoors at night, one of two in Australasia with only seven worldwide. If you click here you can see a virtual panoramic view of the auditorium or here for the Civic's homepage.

After getting off the train at Britomart we walked upstairs to have a look at the fountain which you can see through the main skylight of the station when you're downstairs. Here is a photo I took inside last time we were there and a couple I took yesterday.

On the way up Queen St we bought our lunch and had it sitting in the sun in Aotea Square where they were having a market day.

I was fascinated to see that the square had been planted with bright yellow pansies and parsley of all things. It did look very effective though.

Of course I couldn't leave the market without buying something before we continued on to the Civic guided tour. This pretty bracelet matched my jumper perfectly.

Our tour guide was the manager who had been involved with the refurbishment and recreating of the Civic, it was an absolutely fascinating hour which ended with a film on the making of the Civic which opened in 1929 and included original film footage of the time. The theatre is of course very dark inside and as I don't have a clue as to settings on my camera I just stuck it on automatic and hoped for the best. What follows is a selection of the best which aren't too bad although I'm no professional that's for sure!

The foyer taken from upstairs. This is where my mother, aged 17 in 1929, broke the heel on her shoe coming down the stairs and fell all the way to the bottom, she wasn't hurt except for her pride!

One of the two gold panthers who guard the stage in the main auditorium.

Information on the remaking of the beautiful Flamingo Curtain.
Below are three photos of parts of the curtain including the obligatory one of me! The photo I took of all of the curtain was too far away for the flash to light it up unfortunately. However, if you click here you can see Shazzt's photo of it. She very wisely doesn't seem to have needed to use her flash, I really must learn more about taking photos in the dark without a flash.

Okay, after seeing this photo (I cropped the bottom off!) I decided it was time to really start my daily walking again. After breaking my foot last year I haven't got back into it properly again and have put on about 5kgs, time to lose it again - I'm aiming for 65kgs, currently 71, just too much for my height of 1.65m (5'5"). So everyone, help me out here, I need lots of encouragement!
Now if I could just look like this again.....