darkazana

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Everything posted by darkazana

  1. darkazana

    Pagan Celebrations

    Blessed Litha, Summer Solstice,.......ancient celebrations or a load of old tosh? Blessed Be :-)
  2. darkazana

    The Un United Kingdom

    So close on the heels of a Scottish Independence referendum, Cornwall are now thinking about going it alone! Will the price of pasties be going up? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28824991
  3. darkazana

    Speed awareness course

    While I understand the frustrations caused by large groups of cyclists, I would like to stand up and be counted for the individual who just wants to get from A to B safely. The other week Hubby had to go on a course, necessitating the use of our one and only car. It coincided with my yoga class, and though I could have caught the bus, I thought it would be nice to cycle the 4 miles, along a country lane, getting in some exercise too. I used our work Hi Viz jacket for safety and most people gave me plenty of room, slowing down, and waiting if there was something coming in the opposite direction, and I always acknowledged their thoughtfulness, keeping as close to the edge as I could (The lanes are not particularly wide). And all went well, until the "gentleman" who came roaring up behind me and nearly took me out trying to get past me before the oncoming car reached us! There was no need but obviously he was making a point that I was in his way and he was very important...….probably the same very important t**t who races through the village (40mph limit) at about 80 - I recognised the unhealthy exhaust sound of his vehicle! Anyway I'm off my soapbox now, and I will be cycling to yoga again in the warmer months.
  4. darkazana

    Three words to sum up your day

    Still No Snow
  5. darkazana

    How's your day?

    Well we've certainly had "some degree of frost and fog" today, in fact its never lifted and the trees have been white over all day. The birds have been mobbing the feeders all day too. A pity its not still the RSPB bird count as I'm sure I've had more in today than the whole of last weekend!! I don't think improvement is on the cards for tomorrow, if the BBC is anything to go by it's going to get worse....not that we have had the snow they promised!
  6. darkazana

    Ghost stories of nottingham?

    That is spooky, Carni. Thank goodness Poppy survived. I have only ever had spooky experiences actually in houses. I used to live in an old farm house, near Newark, which had creepy stairs, though not particularly frightening, but the hairs on the back of my neck often stood up. My brother also told me he felt uncomfortable on the stairs, and he is a very down to earth sort of person. There were sightings of an old lady in the house by my then husband and our daughters, I thought someone was outside the stables, but there was no one there. I heard footsteps over head when I was in bed, my daughters bedroom was directly above, where she and a friend has seen the old lady. I went up to check but she was fast asleep, and once I woke to see a face floating above me. Doors have opened and closed on their own and lights were seen to go on and off while we were away on holiday...in the same daughters bedroom. So lots going on, but it was never menacing. Curiously after I had sold it, the new owners took down the ceiling of the master bedroom and found a pipe and a man's jumper in the space between some beams which they exposed. Some of the house dated back to Tudor times, that particular part being about 1700's, so I dare say it has a fair bit of history to it.
  7. darkazana

    The Duke

    I see that debris from the accident site is appearing for sale on Ebay!
  8. darkazana

    How's your day?

    You mean there was left over trifle in the first place??????
  9. darkazana

    Three words to sum up your day

    Home-made croissants
  10. darkazana

    Yoohoo Tis I

    Good Evening All, Just been doing a little lurking and thought I'd pop in and say Hi Guys I'm back Did you miss me? Oh well never mind. Couldn't check in last year as we had no wifi at Altnaharra, in fact we were lucky to have electricity Seriously we had a fantastic time. I'm sure Compo must have been there at some time and will know how lovely it is. It is also very remote, the nearest shop being 25 miles away, or 50 miles for a supermarket!! As it was so remote I kept our campers supplied with all sorts of yummy goodies, Chocolate Brownies, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Carrot Cake and Cream Teas, with Flapjack being a hot favourite of all the cyclists who stopped off on their travels to and from John O'Groats. Wildlife was abundant with Golden Eagles flying over most days, not to be confused with the buzzards, and one day I had 2 juvenile golden eagles just outside the office door. Red deer often seen roaming the hillside and we were entertained on a daily basis by the antics of the sheep and their lambs. We loved it so much that we are going back to Scotland in March, and will be there until November, but not to Altnaharra. This season we will be at Brora, which is just south of Wick, and on the coast, with a golf course between our site and the beach, so we have high hopes of another fantastic season. Might have a bit more chance of calling in to check on you guys this year as we do have wifi on site and we shall also be home on a regular basis as we have day relief and so will get away for a week every month. Last year we had no other help, just ourselves, and so only got a day off when we could, not really long enough to make the 500 mile journey home, but it was no hardship when we had such wonderful scenery around us. Well I hope you all had a good year in 2018, a great Christmas and wish you all good blessings for 2019. I shall now carry on lurking and try to catch up with you. TTFN Deborah
  11. darkazana

    Remembering Nicky.

    Commo, just read about your sad loss and would like to add my condolences, I can think of nothing worse than losing a child. Thoughts are with you and your family. Blessings.
  12. darkazana

    Yoohoo Tis I

    Hi Carni, Hope you are keeping well. It's good to be back. Still trying to find my way around the probably not so new look site now. I was about to have a look round the site, but spookily Paul Murtons Grand Tours of Scotland's Lochs was on and he visited Loch Naver which is where our campsite was last year, just after I had finished my post about it!!!
  13. Just been visiting the Moffat Toffee Shop, which is just stuffed with jars of memories, from chewing nuts, kali,rhubarb and custard to name a few. I treated myself to a bag of bulls eyes because these always bring back memories of going on holiday to Wales with mum, dad, and my brothers. Squabbling about who had to sit in the middle, asking the interminible question of "Are we nearly there yet?" And dad sharing out the bulls eyes or boiled sweets (never liked them much!) Always the bulls eyes for me. And even better, unlike so many things they don't seem to have shrunk in size :-)
  14. darkazana

    Disgusting school dinners

    Not something that I ever mastered but I do believe that in t'owd days they used to add bicarbonate of soda to greens to keep their colour which would otherwise be insipid looking with the amount of boiling they employed
  15. darkazana

    Disgusting school dinners

    Jill I was serving dinners at a primary school in West Bridgford and offered a child a banana....they asked me what a banana was!!!
  16. darkazana

    Darkazanas Diabetes Page

    Having been reading about Catfans scary diabetes episodes recently brought to mind my own blog, which has been woefully neglected recently. I am so pleased that Catfan has come off the insulin and that his BG is back to where it was 2 years ago, and I whole heartedly hope it stays there, if not even improving more. I know how scary it can all be, but I am blessed that I have been able to control my diabetes by diet and exercise. I went for my regular 6 monthly check up last week and have just learned that all is normal, "no further action necessary". Even though I work hard at this it is always a nerve wracking few days for me until I get the results I am hoping for. I never take it for granted that I will still be ok. I shall be on this path for the rest of my life, but if I can keep off the meds then its a price worth paying. Whilst at work this last season our site Warden had type 2 diabetes and was on meds. Because of the meds he is happy to eat anything at all, which I find a worry as your body adjusts to the meds and then suddenly they don't work so well so you need more and so the cycle continues. The warden does not look particularly healthy (in fact coincidentally last years warden was exactly the same) and I wonder how he will manage over the years. Because I choose to control the diabetes they way I do on several occasions he wondered at my dislike of taking medication, and why I did not check my glucose levels regularly, and was not at all interested in the fact that I was doing ok. On the plus side the lady warden, Suz, who arrived to take over this winter season also has diabetes (Is it something to do with the job???) but is on a journey like mine and so we could discuss the subject quite intelligently. She is on meds but is determined to come off and we are going to keep in touch to support each other. As to checking my glucose levels, I do not do this as I do not like sticking sharp objects into myself (though I believe there are ways to avoid this now). I simply track my diet and know how much of the good and bad stuff I'm putting in my body. However every time I go for a check up my nurse lets me know what my HbA1c was. Last week I was amazed to learn that last May it had dropped to 41mmol which is normal. A reading of 42 is classed as "at risk". This was amazing to me as last Christmas I had started to add treats to my diet but the reading had dropped from 43 (last Novembers reading) to 41. Suz and I had been discussing our glucose levels and I hadn't been sure what mine was when first diagnosed, so after my check up last week I rooted out my very first readings and was shocked to see that when I was diagnosed my HbA1c reading was 76mmol!!! way above that on which Suz had been put onto meds. So I am really pleased to have achieved 41. I won't know until next March what this last reading was, but shall continue to monitor my diet, which does not mean no cake ever again, I can be a little more relaxed, just not OTT. And the point of all this is that if there is anyone out there reading this who is newly diagnosed or who wants to come off the meds, then you should know that it can be done. I am happy to share my plan with anyone, and at the moment am in the process of building a website aimed at helping others to reverse diabetes.
  17. darkazana

    Darkazanas Diabetes Page

    So, as many now know, cos i don't keep a lot to myself, I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. At this time I do not need medication and have been told to try and control it by diet and exercise. When the shock and horror wore off i set about reading everything I could about this disease with the idea of seeing if I could make it go away. A recent conversation with my doctor informed me that even if everything went back to normal I would now always be regarded as a diabetic. So first hurdle...Get Over It! Onwards and upwards, if nothing else I have realised that once I have a certain mindset I can be quite determined, and since my diagnosis I have resisted all sweets, cakes and biscuits even if they are sat in front of my nose, though I do allow myself a treat occasionally. So a few, maybe less known facts that I have picked up It is not just about cutting out carbohydrates (carbs) and sugars. You do need some sugar for energy, it just depends on the type, those which occur naturally like fructose are quite good and break down a lot more slowly than glucose and lactose. One of the main culprits are the fats, most notably animal fats, that we take in. These contain the dreaded saturated fats and they are the cause of the insulin produced not being able to do its job properly, leading eventually to the failure of your pancreas to produce enough insulin (or something like that) which helps the sugars be absorbed into the cells and used as energy. This is why many diabetics also have high cholesterol levels and are at risk of heart disease, stroke raised blood pressure and all the other nasty things associated with too much saturated fat in the body. I have been reading a very good book called the Reverse Diabetes Diet Book which explains what is going on and advocates following a vegan diet for 12 weeks, as vegans do not take in any animal products at all. The only thing that bothers me about this is you have to take lots of supplements for nutrients which will be lacking in this restricted diet...I'm not good at taking tablets of any sort as I usually forget! But I am adapting some of the recipes and others I will see how I go. Fortunately my husband is very supportive and willing to try anything once! I have also got both of the Hairy Dieters cookbooks and adapt their recipes to suit my needs. I have also looked at Low GI diets, and keep a copy of the GI index so that I can look for the better foods. The lower the GI the better. So at this point I am tracking my diet and find it very helpful to use the http://www.fatsecret.co.uk/website I can also track my fitness levels and they have challenges which are fun to do. John bought me a fitbit for Christmas which tracks steps etc and synchronises with their webpage showing me my progress. My main form of exercise at the moment is the treadmill, which I use 5 days a week, using the weight loss programme of 30 minutes up and down hills at about 3.5 mph. So far I have lost half a stone since being diagnosed. So that's a not so brief introduction to my diabetes blog. Some of the tips I have picked up so far: I have swapped semi skimmed milk for almond milk (though not in tea) It's quite pleasant on cereal and in cooking and acceptable in coffee (Can't stand soya milk) Apart from my morning cup of tea, any other teas in the day are herbal, usually a chamomile and peppermint home made mix. And lots of water of course Porridge is an excellent breakfast and I found that making it with water only and sprinkling it with cinnamon and 80 grams of raspberries and blueberries makes it very yummy. I even added cinnamon to my muesli this morning. Cinnamon is very good for helping to reduce blood glucose levels Wraps and pitta bread (wholemeal) are better than ordinary breads even granary as they do not have air bubbles in them. It is the air in bread which makes it spongy and so the carbs are turned to sugar much more quickly, and it is the sugar rush which is to be avoided. I don't use any butter or spread on bread (if I have some), but I do add some hommus, which is another very acceptable food. Sweet potatoes are far better than ordinary and mash is out altogether as that is one of the foods which turns to sugar and is absorbed far too quicky. Well I am now 4 weeks along my road of diet change and fitness and I can honestly say that it has caused me very few problems. I had a great Christmas and just had smaller portions of turkey and Christmas pudding, but loads of veg and fruit. Last year my husband was despairing of me as I would complain about my weight, but the more he tried to encourage me to use the treadmill the more I resisted, purely because I don't like being told what to do. Now I am fighting him for the use of it, now it's deadly serious as my health depends on it and my health is my most precious commodity. So this is it so far. Next week we start work in the Cotswolds so I will have to adapt my fitness regime (no room for the treadmill in the awning!) It will be interesting to see how I can do this.
  18. darkazana

    Catfan's Blog.

    So pleased to hear you're off the insulin Catfan. Hopefully you will stay off it. Well done
  19. darkazana

    Disgusting school dinners

    I was school cook for Notts County Council up until 2010 and am disappointed to see children are finding school dinners disgusting as long before Jamie Oliver crusaded his way through NCC were pioneers in improving the meals. I can hand on heart say that whilst I was cooking in any school (I was a mobile cook supervisor for several years) the meals were home made and tasty, from meat pies, casseroles and pasta dishes to burgers (we made our own from scratch) and local venison sausages....always popular with caramel tart still being on the menu, but by far the favourite of my children was the Magic Chocolate Pudding. Fresh fruit, vegetarian options, salad and yogurt were always available with the veggie choice being popular with many regardless of their specified diet. I also produce meals for coeliacs, diabetics and lactose intolerant children. Sadly a lot of children were pulled out of school meals by parents due to Jamie Oliver denigrating all school meals as a whole and we worked hard to build up the confidence again. The only reason some children didn't like the meals was because it wasn't sausage and chips all the time. So many of them had never had a home produced meal, just pizza or MacDonalds as the parents were too busy to bother with cooking. However the children from less well off families who were on free dinners would always queue up for seconds. I used to love my school meals and always cleared my plate as a child, and even if I didn't particularly like something I would eat it due to my sea faring grandfather telling me about the real starvation that he saw, and being grateful for what I had. Ok I'm off my soap box now and it is quite possible that school meals may have deteriorated again, I know they were struggling against rising costs at one time, but I am still of the opinion that there are a lot of faddy fussy eaters out there in the younger generation because parents simply make no time for proper meal times and home made meals.
  20. darkazana

    How's your day?

    Just been reading about your smoky neighbour Rog. Have you tried Environmental Health? They will turn up as and when someone complains, to monitor the situation. I have first hand experience of this when a neighbour of mine complained regarding our muck heap which went up one bonfire night (well every bonfire night we used to burn it off). It was sad really, she was miffed because she hadn't been invited to the event - due to a difference of opinion...but then that's another story!!! Anyway the upshot was said neighbour complained that it was smoking profusely and had been for several days, EH turned up at my property unannounced to "catch" the situation which had actually been hugely exaggerated, to find just a tiny spiral of smoke rising, (and the wind was blowing it in the opposite direction to neighbours house), as we had kept it controlled. The point being that they will turn out pronto if there is a health risk. So this could be worth a try if the situation continues.
  21. darkazana

    Pagan Celebrations

    Blessed Samhain to all Nostalgians, tis the time of year when the veil between our world and t'other is at it's thinnest and spooky stuff can occur. It also signifies the end of the harvest season when all is safely gathered in and we can start to prepare for the long winter months by preserving what we can in the form of chutneys, jams, jellies and cider (of course), meat would have been salted down and hung in the larder to see our forebears through the cold dark days, and little furry and prickly creatures will be settling down for their winter snooze, their own larders stocked to see them through. Time to stoke up the fires and look forward to Yule. Blessings
  22. darkazana

    Pagan Celebrations

    No apples for me this year PeverilPeril, I've had to go scrumping for wild crabapples, the last of which I got today along with rosehips for my final foraging jelly of the year.
  23. darkazana

    Catfan's Blog.

    Sorry to hear about the diabetes Catfan, as we know its a horrible insidious disease, hope the insulin helps and you will improve very soon. Stay strong.
  24. darkazana

    How's your day?

    Sat in the office waiting for the last one to come in before having a curry night with some friends who are on site for the weekend. Have a great weekend folks
  25. darkazana

    Catfan's Blog.

    In my thoughts Catfan, hope they can sort the problem soon. Best wishes to you and Mrs CF.