Monday, 30 April 2007

The first day of the rest of my life...

Sometimes you really need that complete change to remember that the purpose of life is not to be a drudge, but to be lived. I was never so conscious of that than this morning.

I am currently sitting in my new 'office'. It's a converted barn in the middle of bright yellow rapeseed fields in Cambridgeshire. Out of the skylight window I can see a patch of bright blue sky and the tops of some trees in a hedgerow. I am sure I can just about hear birds singing above the humming of the server router. It's generally quiet and I think I will be able to work very well here. The internet connection is (quite obviously if you are reading this) up and running. Much nicer than Cheshunt!

I was up at 6.15am this morning and have done a gym session first thing. I have searched for a more convenient location for my daily calorie burning that doesn't involve me driving half an hour in the wrong direction. Now that I'm paying for my own fuel!

I'm already half way through my edits from chapter 1 of the book, based on some feedback I got on Tuesday night last week. And I have now discovered that there is another Writers Group meeting every month - and it's tomorrow night. It's so nice to have only a handful of appointments in the diary and for all of them to be nice things that I have chosen to do. I know I am so lucky to be in this position and really feel that I want to make the most of it.

Friday, 27 April 2007

LAST DAY!!!!!!!!

....and nearly time to get the party started.

I'm strangely busy today. I have a list a page long of little things I need to do. I will also be spending a good deal of the party in my new car on school run duty again. So I have to get everything done by 2pm. I've missed this type of stress - the stress of having something to do and a deadline - rather than nothing to do and no particular time I don't need to not do it by. (Pedants: please check how many negatives in this sentence and whether I ended up with a positive or a negative...)

Be assured I am there with you all, I am partying hard. I am just multi-tasking and doing some other necessary things at the same time in case you don't see any physical evidence of me at the party.

12 o'clock - the first can of Red Stripe will emit that satisfying pshhhttt as it opens. Please don't put my rib-eye steak on the BBQ too early, as I do like it medium rare. Just a little salt and pepper and A1 Steak Sauce with it please!

PS Thanks for all the films yesterday. I didn't know I had starred in so many and been the subject of so many more. I am humbled.
PPS House - I reckon it's too early to tell if it's getting boring or it was just an 'off' episode last night. However, I will keep watching, mainly because Cameron is still hot and I love it when she gets feisty...she can crash through a plate glass window with me any time she likes.
PPPS I got a leaving card from the people I share my little part of the office with - very sweet of them. It's strange leaving and not having a team to say goodbye to.
PPPPS Party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Penultimate day

Logistics day successfully completed yesterday. Our bus is not too pikey as it's a private shuttle that goes between our two office buildings - we don't let the public on!!!

Managed to do a shortened gym session this morning with no adverse effects on my tweaks (so far) but the weigh-in last night confirmed the gain I feared (0.9kg). But I'm still below 110kg, which was a barrier for me from the wrong side for the last 3 years. That just makes me more determined to lose this week so that I definitely don't go back above it.

I am on school run duty today so will be leaving the office at 2pm again (I am a lightweight, I'm fired). Talking of which, the final ink goes on paper either today or tomorrow to confirm all my leaving details. Shame really, as for the last week the cash sum has been increasing every day. Not by much in the grand scheme of things, but the odd grand or six ticking upwards is not to be sniffed at...this time next week Rodney! Well, OK that's stretching it a bit but every little helps!!!

Maybe I should invest in property abroad???

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Logistics, logistics, logistics

Popping in quickly from the gym.
Writers Group good last night. More time to read for each person and some really good constructive comments and questions to me.

Collecting the car at 11am. Before that I have to drive 10 miles, leave the BMW at the 'other office' and get a taxi back to the dealers. Then I drive the new car to my office, have a lunch date, then get the bus back to where the BMW is and drive that home.

All so the new car is at work on Friday for me to drive home in, but I can get the BMW cleaned before handing it back. Phew!

Still buzzing about my new office location deal...

Monday, 23 April 2007

Rubbish, limping, fat, soon to be unemployed

It's always pleasing, even when it's only on a small scale, to hear someone in the public arena agree with you. Good on the warden for the Marine Conservation Society. I don't think it's a particularly complex or deep point about rights and responsibilities, so why is it so hard for most people to grasp?

I've managed to tweak a muscle in my leg again while training last night. I don't think it's too badly torn, but it's annoying all the same. I managed a few lengths in the swimming pool this morning but I'm hoping it recovers soon. Can't do any training tonight anyway as it's my writer's group meeting.

The eating is going OK. I had a bit of a bad weekend. Nothing specific, I just ate slightly too much of slightly the wrong things. Especially Friday night but that was just comfort eating. I won't be at home tonight to do my weigh-in so I will have to do it on Wednesday this week. I'm not holding out any hope for any loss at all, rather I'm steeling myself for another small gain.

The end of my time here at work is approaching with a whimper rather than a bang. I've started telling a few people that I'm leaving on Friday but I don't feel like organising any drinks or any type of leaving do. Under the circumstances, not surprising. Friday will feel strange when I leave here for the last time. It always does when you leave a job, no matter what the circumstances or how much you loved or hated the job.

I collect the new car tomorrow. I like tangible signs of new beginnings...

Friday, 20 April 2007

OAMC at the Galleria

Moose arrived first. He started drinking pints while waiting for the others. Then Moose turned up. Annoyingly he started copying everything Moose was doing - which was largely drinking pints. The table against the mirrored wall was only big enough for 2 sets of antlers, so by the time Moose and Moose had drunk enough pints, Moose and Moose arrived to join them. The waitress very kindly had moved them to the table in the mirrored corner by this time. All four Mooses had another pint while waiting for the meal to arrive. The Mooses had tried to be as pikey as possible and had ordered the special meal for 4 as it was the cheapest deal on offer. The waitress had shot a worrying glance at Moose when he ordered for everyone. She had gazed open-mouthed as he asked the others for confirmation that his order was Ok with them. But they all agreed.
Starters arrived - spare ribs. All the Mooses grabbed at once and polished them all off in a flash. One Moose ended up with BBQ sauce dripping all over his fuzz, one had it all around his mouth, one had some on his nose and the other remained sauce-free. The burgers and fries went much the same way, all washed down with more pints. Moose made a dash for the toilets while Moose, Moose and Moose had a burping competition. Unfortunately this then descended further into a farting competition when Moose returned (he had toilet paper stuck on his shoe but none of the other Mooses had the heart to tell him).
The people at the next table then complained about the smell. The Mooses were ushered out of the restaurant into the arms of the waiting policemen. Prison overcrowding being ignored, they were all locked up together in a cell in the dungeons of Hatfield police station.
When Moose woke up this morning, they had already released the other 3 Mooses and he was alone in the cell, with a banging headache and a bowl full of watery porridge thrown at him.
Thankfully he was released without charge. The custody sergeant told him he was a very lucky Moose. He had come dangerously close to charges of possession of a pair of antlers and not being pikey enough for Hatfield. Only the dried remains of BBQ sauce on the antlers and the farting competition had saved him. He was let off with a warning to 'be less eloquent next time, sonny' and a suggestion that neighbouring tables should always be invited to join in any food fights or farting competitions in future to avoid any further trouble.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

New car

A strange day indeed. I walked into a garage and bought a car. Just like that. It was too easy. I felt that something was missing, that for such a purchase there should be more barriers to get over, some more actions required than simply one signature and the handing over of my debit card.
Most importantly, it's silver. There's unusual for you.
I shall be collecting it next Wednesday.
I told the salesman that it must be the easiest sale he's ever done:
- I knew exactly what I wanted.
- They had one model that fitted all my criteria.
- I bought it.
He gave me some discount and a free boot cover. I magnanimously conceded from haggling even further.

Soon to be relieved from the Bavarian Moosehood Wrecker and time to start a new competition for a suitable acronym for the new beast. With apologies to MfR because it's not one of his, any ideas are welcome.
Starters for ten...
Freedom Or Rally Driving.
Fried Or Roast Duck.
Faggots Off Ridiculous Drivers.

First prize is a lonely meal for one at Hatfield Galleria...and half an hour's rummaging in TK Maxx.

A challenging day ahead...

Sorry for late posting. Won't bore you with details. Expecting a challenging day today. The waiter at the gym last night slipped me a normal coffee instead of the decaff I ordered. I started feeling strangely buzzy on the drive home, started shaking etc etc. Due to that and a couple of other reasons, I did not sleep well at all. The temptation to drink caffeine this morning is intense but has been resisted so far. I'll take it hour by hour. Maybe minute by minute if necessary.

I feel very humble on a couple of other fronts:

Weight - put on 0.3kg. Don't quite understand. I haven't been particularly strict about logging my calories every day but I can't be that far out. I usually add on 300-500 for the odd bits that I missed. I'd need to add on about 2,000 a day for the last week to explain that result though. When I say I don't understand, I do have an inkling but don't want to rely on it as an excuse. Without going into too much detail, giving up caffeine has sent my digestive system into a completely opposite state to normal - which could explain some weight gain. Say no more. I think I need to drink more water.
The temptation at breakfast to 'blow out' was huge. Luckily, my body has now got used to the new eating regime/habits and I don't think I could physically eat any more than normal. That's a relief. Just got to keep going (in all senses) and the weight will go. It will. It can't fail to if I carry on with the eating lifestyle and exercise. Must try hard to avoid the chocolate and muffins today as I can feel myself in the type of mood when my will power fails.

Relationships - I definitely don't qualify to give any advice based on the 'do as I do' principle. Is it OK if we stick to 'do as I say'? Theory is wonderful but practice a little different. I'm glad to hear a lot of you are so much better at it than me. But another reason for feeling weak and wanted to run screaming and hide somewhere.

Today will be a good test of whether I can resist comfort eating and the temptation to rely on caffeine to get me through.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Help - my brain isn't big enough!

A number of recent stories and radio phone-in programmes have brought to my mind, again, the issue of rights and responsibilities. That is, that our societies ills often come down to people's insistence on their rights over and above their practice of responsibility.

I start with myself and recognise the malady most in me. I know when I start thinking that I have rights to certain things or to be treated a certain way, I'm on a slippery slope. I function best when I completely ignore whatever my rights might be and act instead from a position of responsibility. Largely I mean the responsibility to do the right thing in whatever situation I find myself.

The underlying theme of rights comes up time and time again. Richard Bacon hosted a phone-in last week on Five Live about whether owning a home was a right or a privelege. There was another debate on Jeremy Vine about service in shops - about whether we had the right to good service or whether the customer has a part to play in being polite to shop staff. The fat gene debate was peppered with references to individuals right to choose whether they are fat or stay fat, their rights to be treated on the NHS no matter what their personal culpability might be in their medical problems. Much as I hate to mention it, sick of the whole thing as I am, even the reporting of the Wills and Kate affair is liberally sprinkled with comments on the media's right to publish in the public interest and their right to privacy.

This is obvious maybe and not in itself worthy of comment. What my brain isn't big enough for is the question of where these rights come from within an evolutionary framework of survival of the fittest? Surely if evolutionary principles are correct, then the only right that matters is the right of the fittest to exert their influence and power over those that are less fit in order to maximise their survival chances. The rights of "lesser" individuals work against this direction of progress.

The above issues illustrate the point:
1. Houses. 'Fitness' is simply defined as money. If you can afford to buy a house then buy it. If not, tough. The rich enough to get on the ladder in the first place make it to the detriment of those that can't get on the ladder at all. These fit/rich get fitter/richer and the unfit pay them rent.
2. There's a tussle between the fitness of the customer because they have the cash in their wallet, and the power over accessibility to the products as the staff can choose to exclude these customers.
3. Fat people have trouble having kids (in some cases) and die earlier (in some cases). Darwinism says that's a good thing, because the thinner, fitter, longer-living specimens will gradually take over the gene pool and we will develop/evolve.
4. Royalty/Media. A true battle of the wills (sorry!). If the public support of the Royal Family outweighs the public interest to read every detail of their lives and see photos of them doing fairly mundane things like walking along the street with a cup of coffee, then there would be no stories/photos in the press. But it doesn't, so there are. Bad luck. Live with it. Give up your Royal position or learn to take it all even if it ends in death in a Paris subway or anonymous exile on a South African island paradise.

Let me say first off that I do not support any of these positions. Although my level of sympathy for each of them is not identical.

My point is simpler, which is where any rights come from that make us differ from this extreme Darwinistic standpoint. Did the right evolve? Are having rights really the prize for the fittest in evolution, even if the exercise of the rights works contrarily to weaken the gene pool? If so, how evolved does a being have to be to get the rights - why do we stop at chimps?

I prefer to forget rights and instead just try to do the right thing.
So I'll buy my house if I can afford to but also contribute time or money or both to homeless shelters or building projects in the Third World. Providing a suitable but not excessive home for my family doesn't have to be to the detriment of everyone else.
It's the right thing to do to treat everyone politely, as you would want to be treated, no matter what job they do or how much they get paid, or whether they are from Warrington or Warsaw. It's also OK to complain if they don't give good service, in an appropriate manner.
I'll try to get and keep myself healthy, maybe even help or encourage others to do the same, and help to feed people that don't have enough to live on.
I'll leave the Royals alone to live their lives, as I would want to be left alone. The country would be a culturally and touristically (and therefore economically) poorer place without them so they earn their keep and some privacy when they want it. I won't buy the papers that go to excess, nor click on the stories on the web - both of which fuel the idea that I'm interested in the rubbish that's produced in the name of public interest.

The closest I've come across to an explanation (appropriate know who you are) was that as we evolved we invented religion as a means to sustain the evolution of society/community. While we have now evolved far enough not to need religion any more, the principles of treating each other well (best embodied in the Christian tradition) still help to maintain our society and to enable further evolution. They are therefore worth keeping and encouraging, just without the religious context for them.
While I follow this argument, I still don't understand the natural consequences of this which appear to me to be counter-evolutionary. Because society protects the weak, enables them (us?) to procreate and live longer, it therefore stops or slows the relentless march towards a super-race with an ever narrower genetic make-up which approaches "perfection".
Maybe society through medical developments helps us to eradicate the "weakness" of the weak, thus making the gene pool stronger over time, including being stronger for being more diverse.

I think a field trip is called for. I'll need to demonstrate how most people live on a higher plane. I'll visit a fast food restaurants in the most deprived areas of every major UK city and rudely ask the fat people - preferably early teenage girls with a number of kids in tow and wearing Burberry - what they think of the influence of the print media in the Royalty vs Republicanism debate with specific reference to the now defunct relationship of William Windsor and Katherine Middleton.
Hopefully I'll get some polysyllabic answers and make it back alive...

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Golden rules are made to be broken

I'm knackered. A good five hours of strenuous gardening/drive repairs etc yesterday and walking with dinosaurs this afternoon followed by some extreme ironing (in this weather any ironing is extreme). My head is pounding, I'm sitting here sweating.

But the real reason could be something entirely different. Well, for the tiredness and the pounding head anyway - not sure about the sweating? I have broken one of my Moose's Fat Fighters rules and given up caffeine. Must have been the incongruity of eating so many superfoods and yet still pandering to my caffeine addiction that I couldn't manage to continue. So yesterday I just gave up. We'll see how long that lasts...

I feel the need to raise the OAMC on here. Given that it will happen on Thursday this week. Note the definite. It WILL happen. In some form, large or small, somewhere, somehow it will happen.

Original plan was Covent Garden at 7.30pm. Some feedback I have had suggests that the location/time combo may not be the best. So can you please e-mail me if you are up for a meet on Thursday. Tell me your preferred location: I'm thinking of sticking with central London as one option, or potentially forming smaller groups further out. As 3 is the ideal number for an OAMC, allegedly, this could still work. I reckon if we looked at a N/S/E/W location, we might make it more accessible for people. Better to have a couple of small meets than no-one make it because it's too difficult. So suggested locations are as follows:
North: Hatfield Galleria
South: Gatwick
East: Bluewater
West: Heathrow

These locations might also lend themselves to an earlier meet time, which while clashing with CLP's show, might allow people to get home again earlier on a "school night".

Once I've collected wishes etc I'll issue more instructions. At the very least, there will be a lonesome Moose, having an OAMC on his own, in Hatfield Galleria. Just so we can at least say it happened!

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Yesterday Alice gastric bands

Well, an interesting and somewhat momentous day. Work stuff - my old situation is now coming to a head. Looks like 2 weeks will now see conclusion. At long last.

Am blogging from bed (seems to be de rigeur?) listening to five live and the discussion of the fat gene. I've got a pair, naturally, but I don't think they fit me any more.

Did an almost full gym session and my back is not any worse for it. Avoided the rowing machine as I thought the pressure may be too much. Plenty more superfoods today and still lots left.

Ha! A 19 stone guy talking about a gastric by-pass. I was nearly that heavy at my largest! He doesn't need a gastric by-pass, he needs some will power. Now he says he's lost 3 stone without it (by cutting out "all the fast food, kebabs, pizza etc I used to eat") but complains that the NHS let him down because they didn't do it. Unbelievable! I don't pay my taxes for that...

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


I saw an article over the weekend on superfoods. The ones that are healthy and will stop you getting cancer. I stopped off at the T supermarket after my hearing loop activities and filled up my trolley with not a lot else but what was on the list.

Most of it is still sitting in the bag/fridge ready for tomorrow and the next day but the watercress salad with a dressing that included chillies has already slipped down nicely to accompany a tuna steak. I ate an apple earlier and I'm drinking some fizzy apple juice (if you get my drift) too. Yogurt and blueberries for dessert and I'll be about ready for The Apprentice and an early night.
I'm also going to pop some veggies in to roast tonight so I only have to heat them up tomorrow...organized or what? Broccoli, onions, carrots and cabbage were on the list but I'll throw in some courgettes, garlic and sweet potato as well.

I was feeling very super-charged when I got home from the gym. I couldn't face an evening of eating and sitting in front of the TV but couldn't do much with tweaked back. So I strapped on the i-pod, set it to all my walking songs and disappeared into the fields, striding away and sometimes singing to myself. It's a good job I live in the middle of nowhere and only the odd pheasant and pigeon were there to observe me. Odd as in occasional, not strange. 45 minutes later I got back just after the sun had disappeared, ready for a more productive evening all round. I have a box of stuff to sort out - the accumulation since my last de-cluttering episode. Amazing how it builds up so fast. I find that I can do other things while watching The Apprentice...the first 50 minutes is vaguely interesting background and build up for the final 10 minutes in the Boardroom.

I'm hoping that after my steaming and sauna-ing and bubbling and not-so-gentle-walking and another dose of smelly deep heat tonight, I'll be raring to go tomorrow morning and will get to the gym properly. I think I've overdone the calories today but in a good way. I think it's the first day I'll have done my 5 fruit and veg portions in a day for a long while. I shall assess the damage during the Apprentice too.

Wow, I'll have to watch this multi-tasking lark, or I'll start to think I'll have turned into a woman!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

It's her, it's her. I'm sure it is.

Long long drive...too many people with the same idea as me to return from the West Country today. And then the M25 and the A1(M) were complete car parks. While on the M25 I was keeping rough pace with a Mercedes SLK with a dead ringer for Princess Di driving it - that on top of seeing a book review of someone that has "uncovered" the conspiracy theory that it wasn't her in the car but a double - she now lives on an island off South Africa. Except today she was on the M25 in a Mercedes SLK!

Stopped on the way at the gym for a fantastic workout. Felt really good. Then I tweaked something in my back while removing my shirt. Typical!

Still, 0.2kg weight loss. That's a rounding difference in my book but at least it's not gain. Back on the wagon today food-wise and will get back to some sort of normality tomorrow.

I am planning to put up a hearing loop tomorrow and will likely be unavailable all day...until the evening. Have fun.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Digging big holes

Well the run happened but it was a real struggle today. I can't decide if it's because I did two quite hard runs on Friday and Saturday and I'm still feeling after effects, whether a vague underlying feeling that I'm getting another cold is actually true, or whether it's because it was in the morning, as opposed to my last two runs which were both late afternoon/evening jaunts.

I am driving back home (alone) tomorrow (Tuesday) and planning on stopping at the gym on the way for a heavy workout followed by some serious steam/sauna/jacuzzi action and then home for a weigh-in. A weigh-in that I'm fully expecting to be no movement vs last week. I don't feel it can possibly be justified that I've lost weight in a week where I've been to Burger King, out for chicken and chips, eaten toast, sandwiches, my particular nemesis - cheese, and indulged in a few, rather small, chocolate eggs. I don't think I've exactly been a hedonist, but will be shocked if there is any weight loss at all. Back to normal tomorrow...

Apart from that I dug a huge hole in the beach - big enough for me to disappear below ground level, and trust me, that's pretty big. It's amazing how digging in the sand never ceases to be such a pleasure for the male members of the human race, regardless of age. The mooselets got bored fairly quickly and went off to play football with their grandfather, occassionally popping back to be measured standing in the hole to see how deep it was. When it came to the eldest's head height, we got the call to join the females for a cream tea. Oh yes, I forgot to put a cream tea in the list above! An hour's careful and meticulous digging was reinstated to flat beach within minutes.

But the cream tea was worth it.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

The best things in life...are the simple things

Had a great time sitting on the beach listening to the waves hit some rocks this afternoon. I could have sat there for ages in the sunshine but I think my feet would have got very wet if I'd stayed much longer.
There is something amazing about the simplest things. Especially when they are also free.

I am feeling incredibly tired after not doing much. I envy the youth their energy - the mooselets have been on the go the whole day with cycling, playground, beach etc. I feel worn out just watching. I think I am suffering from stress withdrawal - there is too little adrenaline pumping round my body to keep me going. I shall have to induce some by going for a run in the morning. What better way to start a bank holiday?

Saturday, 7 April 2007

About time...

Had a great relaxing day today with much coffee and chat this morning after a long lie-in. The rest of the family went out this afternoon for the mooselets to ride their bikes. I stayed at home (not space in the car for all of us and the bikes) in order to go for a run - how surprising is that!

We went out this evening to our favourite eating place and I achieved a couple of firsts despite eating very slightly too much. First first was that I didn't eat all my chips - I usually force them down however not hungry I am. Second first waa that I then left quite a bit of my dessert. I just hit that point where enough was enough, a point I usually miss and blunder straight through.

So finally it seems I might be learning some self control. At least when it comes to food. About time...

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Let's make up the rules as we go along...

Just a quick one to say hi and all the best whatever you are doing and however you celebrate or don't celebrate over the weekend.

Long journey down (whizzed past Yeovil and Croyde, avoided Reading and Bath altogether today!)
Now tired and ready for my bed.
I tried hard to persuade the family to "eat something proper" when we stopped but I was outvoted so it was Burger King (other fast food outlets are not available at Exeter services).
I shall therefore refuse to calculate my calorific balance for today on the grounds that I don't want to depress myself and tomorrow is another day. Make it rule 11 if you have to...

No lie in tomorrow as we'll be up early for church. I like Good Friday with one service only, so once you're back the rest of the day stretches in front of you, hopefully tomorrow for some walking on beaches or cliffs or both. Three ready and able mooselet-sitters in the house is also a very nice change.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007


I've always preferred Easter to Christmas. Somehow for me Easter is just so much more of a Christian celebration. Christmas is OK but has it's drawbacks with the timing chosen to coincide with old pagan festivals, mass commercialisation and its hedonistic results.

Theologically speaking there are good reasons for Easter being more important in the Christian calendar. We are called on to remember (yes, even celebrate) his death until he comes again. So much hangs on the Easter events of death and resurrection. My own conviction to Christianity came at a meeting where the resurrection was being discussed. Confronted with the resurrection and nothing else, I felt that I had to make a choice one way or the other. You can almost forget everything else. If Jesus rose from the dead, as he said he would and as the Old Testament prophesied, then we all have important questions to face about God, our faith, our morality. If he didn't then everything crashes.

Two recent news stories captured my imagination with some sort of relevance:
1. Apparently while church attendance continues to drop, the number of people counting themselves as Christian seems to be fairly constant.
While I am in no way advocating a position that you have to go to church to be a Christian, the interesting thing for me is that the article, maybe even all the people asked, completely missed the point - the point about what it means to be a Christian. Belief in God, even the Christian God, isn't the decider. Sorry if that bursts a bubble but it's not. There's not a lot of point in me saying it is when it isn't. What ensues in the media is a debate on going to church, church serices becoming more "relevant" or more trendy, internet churches and online worship. All of which is interesting but still a long way from the central point. I don't want to get all detailed, theological and technical but there are two quick points worth making.
- If we start asking about belief in Jesus Christ the Son of God and his death and resurrection...rather than a vague "belief in God"...well then we are getting somewhere.
- Nicodemus' question to Jesus..."What must I do to be saved?" Answer: you must be born again.
I'll refer back to my "simple ain't easy" post of a few weeks ago. The two points above are simple. But they are not easy. Whereas it seems to me that an inexact and vague "belief in God or a god" is easy but not simple.

2. The chocolate statue of Christ in a New York gallery.
There was uproar at the statue. As far as I could tell, the main point of unrest was that Jesus was not wearing a loincloth. Now I've always been someone who doesn't like the depiction of Christ in statues, paintings and film as a general rule. I'm not totally convinced this is a theological argument as much as a personal taste one so I don't get on my high horse about it (that conjures an interesting picture in itself - a moose riding a horse?) But one thing that has always bothered me when I've seen paintings and statues in churches is the historical inaccuracy of showing a loincloth. The accounts I know specifically describe how Jesus was naked and how the soldiers divided his garments, including the loincloth. It may only be a small piece of cloth but when it is there, wrongly, it somehow misses the utter humiliation that he went through. It dignifies it in a small but significant way that I personally find offensive. So is it preferable to depict Christ naked? Well, as I've already said, I think it's preferable not to depict him at all. Loincloth problem solved!
As far as physical depictions of Christ go, I liked the chocolate one. Firstly because of its unusually accurate representation of the piece of material but also because of the substance used. For me it forces us to ask an important question: What's it all about? Is it about the eggs and bunnies and chocolate? Or are they just a distraction from the real question about who Jesus was, about his death and what it means for us, and about his all-important resurrection and the freedom and certainty that it gives us?

Enjoy your easter break, enjoy some chocolate eggs - not too many though, while it's Ok for the Moose's FatFighters targets to slip into the background for a day or two, don't spoil all the good work you've done so far or make it harder again for yourself after Easter. But why not make this Easter a special one by sparing a thought for the real meaning. And if a chocolate statue helps to focus your thoughts, so be it...

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

...long live the Moose?

I spent most of the day writing today. I didn't write my book and I didn't blog.
I poured my heart out onto the page...well onto the screen actually but the page still sounds better. I edited the contents of my heart. I re-ordered them. I re-arranged them. I realised that some of them made no sense so I discarded them. The process gave me new ideas and new insights into my heart and my head.
That's why I love writing. Everything takes shape and makes so much more sense.
The output is something I still need to mull over. I have a very specific use in mind. I just have to summon up the courage to use it for that purpose. And it still needs a little polishing.

Anyway, the outcome is that there is absolutely no reason for me to stay under this ever-decreasing pile of snow. I guess the first week of spring was never the time of year to be hiding in snow and expecting to stay hidden... ends one of the shortest exiles in history.

PS Feel free to have an egg hunt on here on Thursday. I will be travelling but will be in need of some chocolate when I arrive in the deepest darkest South West...What about an egg hunt across a number of blogs? Makes it far more eggxiting...(Sorry). We've got Susan's, McCrumble's, Hazel's, Lyndyloo's, Jo's, DWNB's (sorry if I forgot any...)

Monday, 2 April 2007

Just popping in...

This doesn't feel much like being away...maybe I'm just addicted and having the usual rejection/dependency swings that come with addiction? So I've heard. I'm not sure I've ever been properly addicted to anything before.

Three things I felt I needed to say:
1. Gaby - go for it girl!
2. Weigh-in. 108.7kg. Lost 2.5kg in 2 weeks. (6lbs old money). Slightly below my target but I don't care. Lowest in a long time. First time under 110kg for four or five years etc etc.
3. No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
4. All the best for the SOAMC. Confession time? I was trying to work my schedule to get there but couldn't do it with Easter travel etc. So have a great time, raise a glass to everyone on the blog, and I'll be trying to do the same at 6.30 (or as soon afterwards as circumstances allow).

Thanks for more wise words and more encouragement. If it's Ok with you guys I will keep you all on tenterhooks and not commit to whether this is me back or not. Please continue to think of me as still under a pile of snow with fantastic wireless access pondering my future...

From under a pile of snow...

It's cold. Baby it's cold outside.
I've had a jolly good sulk over the weekend and decided that Mrs Moose is right to teach the mooselets that "sulking doesn't work."
It hasn't worked and now I'm embarrassed that I've had such a public sulk. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to. Mama told me not to come - that ain't no way to have fun.
Having said that, I'm still not convinced that I shouldn't just stay here.
Despite all the wonderful things you have all said.
Despite the enormous understanding and friendship you have all shown to me.
Thank you all. Most of all thank you for the respect you showed me in supporting my decision, even if it turns out to have been wrong.
There was an article in the Sunday papers that I read about happiness and how embarrassment is one of the main blocks to our happiness.
I'm concerned that my embarrassment about the situation will stop me admitting I made a mistake and stop me from coming back. Sorry seems to be the hardest word.
Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face? You've all become real friends. You have been there for me whatever happens with no demands and no expectations. Unconditional friends. I don't have any of those in the "real" world.
On the other hand I worry that my grieving for the blog is natural and something I just need to get through, but that it was still the right decision to go.
Which is the mistake? Going or not coming back? Should I stay or should I go?
I worry that I haven't spent enough time under the snow thinking even though it seems like an eternity since last Friday when I came here.
All I ever wanted to do was make a difference. On Friday I lost sight of the fact that I had. Thanks to those of you that pointed it out to me.
But the question remains how I make the most difference in the future...and to whom?
There's an awful lot happening in my life at the moment. I'm worried that my decisions are poor because I'm being too influenced by the very latest event and my feelings that are being triggered by it. Life is a rollercoaster - just got to ride it.

If I did come back things would have to change. Anonymity is a good thing in some ways - a harmless bit of fun between well-meaning bloggers and sensible protection from the malevolent ones that we all know are out and about. But it offers a cloak of invisibility which makes you act in a strange way. If I come back I'm determined that I will only say things that it's acceptable for the real me to say, but with the cloak of bravery that a pseudonym provides.
But I can't come back as the "real me" because of the malevolent ones...I didn't really think of that until I set up a new "real me" blog and sat there with a blank screen, realising that there was nothing to be said.
I'm worried that coming back would be a selfish, vain act. You're so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you.
I shouldn't have left that gap in the snow. I can see a small patch of sky through it. In that patch of sky are a few stars...those stars give me too much hope.

Maybe I could be like Doctor Who and still exist but in a new incarnation. I've been Tom Baker but now I could be Peter Davidson. (Giving away my age). Someone tell me to stop before Sylvester McCoy turns up.

It's a good job that wireless networks stretch everywhere these days...

I'm sitting here having edited this for the sixth time wondering whether to hit "Save as Draft" again or "Publish".

The words of a famous writer, Stuart Maconie quiz contestant and sharer of the CE sauna from Sussex come to mind...
"There comes a time when you have to publish and be damned!"