All posts for the month December, 2013

Operation Bikini Bod (OBB)

Published December 31, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Well, it’s day 4 of OBB and I’m sweaty, hungry and a tad taut (cue pained expression when bending down to put my shoes on).  I’m now cursing myself for taking about a month off both the exercise regime and the healthy eating front, and for not listening to Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits to start off slowly, only doing one set of each exercise.  I grew up in the era of ‘no pain, no gain’ and just can’t get my brain around anything else.  My hamstrings may be tighter than Halle Berry’s catsuit in Catwoman, but at least they’re working.





I do feel better for the healthier approach to life, but this next week is going to be hard until I get back to being match fit. It’s a lot easier than it was a year ago at least, and I’ve slotted back into the healthy eating notion.  There’s no point in working your ass off in the gym if you put rubbish into your body – it just makes everything harder – this message is finally starting to sink in.  It turns out after the age of 25 you can’t work out on toast and cookies alone.  And there’s another benefit from being fit, you don’t get ill as often as other people.  I’m the only person in my immediate family over the festive season who didn’t get a bad chest infection and needs antibiotics – my poor Mum has been the worst affected, but both my nephews along my brother and sister-in-law have needed medical assistance and my Dad has been suffering from a prolonged cough.  I spent 48 hours in their company and didn’t catch a thing.  Maybe it’s just luck, but that green tea must be good for something.

Anyway, today is a day off from the gym so we’re having a special dinner and some wine and champers later it being Hogmanay and all – back in the gym again tomorrow though, and strangely, I’m looking forward to it.  My biggest struggle today will be in trying to stay up until midnight – I’m more of a morning type if truth be told, so the green tea is on hold today.  Bring on the caffeine, by the bucketload if necessary.  OBB is still a go.

My inspiration for OBB, a 1990’s Cindy Crawford.

It’s hard to swagger in a bobble hat

Published December 28, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I grew up in the windy northern isles, and I do mean windy.  My trademark windswept and interesting look was earned the hard way – no amount of hairspray in the world can keep you looking neat and tidy in 70mph winds, and trust me, I’ve road tested more than my fair share of brands.

So it’s rather unfortunate that I have sensitive ears – the kind of ears that hurt when the music is too loud or feel as bad as toothache when gale-force winds come a-calling.  My youth was spent swathed in knitted hats, hoods, and when all else failed, ears stuffed with cotton wool.

Over the years I’ve learned to love hats, and have found what works for me: top hats, baker’s caps, cossack hats (the bigger and fluffier the better); and what doesn’t: berets, beanies, cloche hats, the trilby, cowboy hats.  What can I say – my small head with big hair needs a big hat.

This season, new coat = new hat, and the hunt was on.  I have a hat which compliments my dress coat or cape which I wear over suits.  However, I have a new sensible weather proof coat this year – it’s windproof and I’m in love – and it’s winter white in colour.  All I needed was an outdoorsy type hat to compliment it too.  My folks gave me a beautiful cap as part of my Christmas, but I can’t wear it when it’s really windy as it’ll fly off into the yonder.

In the end I ordered this bobble hat by DC Clothes and it brought memories of my childhood flooding back to me:


And that’s part of the problem, when I wear it all I want to do is jump in puddles and fool around.  It brings my inner child out into the open.  It may not be elegant, it may not be cool, but it sure is fun and I don’t have to chase after it on a windy day.

Like I said already, it’s hard to swagger while sporting a bobble hat.

A Year of Sweat and Tears – and still not bikini ready

Published December 27, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I’ve tried quite hard to get myself bikini fit in my forties, but not quite hard enough.

There’s been a little too much of this:

Coffee, wine, ice cream




And nowhere near enough of this:

working out





And, if truth be told, I could have been a little more disciplined on the working out front.  However, all is not lost as I’m 24 lbs lighter than this time last year and I have a new target – become bikini fit by Spring, or Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits’ birthday, to be more precise.  That’s a 14 week boot camp ahead of me, removing that last 14 lbs of excess.  I’m pleased at how far I’ve come, but I know that I could have done better – and that’s downright annoying.  I could have pushed myself a lot harder, but I didn’t – buggerations.

The truth is it’s always easier to do something other than a little bit of exercise. I’m absolutely fine if I’m in a routine, but if I lose momentum then it’s hard to get going again.  And with work commitments, breaks away, trips to see family etc, it’s really ridiculously easy to lose the drive.  Over these last few months I’ve not been working out enough and I’ve been been a little bit greedier than I should be – those pesky glasses of wine or two really do add up after all.  Not to mention bacon sandwich Fridays.  And the small inconsequential fact that I ate more than 2.5 times my calorie allocation on Christmas Eve alone – if you drinketh the wine, then you succumb to the cheese and crackers – true fact.

Therefore over the next few weeks I’ll propel myself back into my regime and stick to it come hell or high water (although I’d better not make jokes about high water at the moment).  I need to stay motivated and force myself to accept the truth that ‘nearly’ isn’t good enough this time.  MrShoeThatAlwaysFits inadvertently helped me out yesterday by absconding off to work with the last of the chocolate buttons, without as much as a ‘by your leave’.

On the plus side, I’ll get more than enough exercise on my walk home tonight leaping out of the way of fast car puddle-spray, navigating large deep puddles via a complex stepping stone routine, and running for my life between hailstorm showers.  Who knew that winter could be so invigorating?

Working in an office during the festive season sucks

Published December 27, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I may have mentioned once or twice that I work with nerds.  This week and next week I’m working with pissed off nerds. 

I’ve ripped them away from the delights of Dr Who by day and Skyrim by night, and have asked them to stop their nocturnal programming activities and resume business as normal – anybody would think that I’m the Emperor.  But like the Rebel Leader, I’m protecting the weak against the mighty force of our client base.  Although, to be fair, the client base appears to be sleeping.  We’ve been in the control tower now for 100 minutes and the only call we’ve taken was when one of our own was running 20 minutes late.

It’s time for desperate measures, it may be time to talk to each other.  At the moment, the only noise in the vicinity is fingers tetchily bashing keyboards – the allure of Christmas leftovers and chocolate biscuits is fading.  The satsumas and pomegranates are rotting in the communal kitchen.  If anyone even mentions Christmas there will be a lynching.  Where’s a stargate when you need one?  Beam me up Scotty, it’s going to be a long day.

Xmas, Part Deux – Return of the Sibling

Published December 24, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Well, I made it back up to gale-force Scotland and back again in one piece.  My brother, his wife and their two boys stopped off for a week at my parents en route from Abu Dhabi to Norway for a snowy sled-filled Christmas.

It was magical spending time with everyone, although Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits missed out on the fun due to work commitments.  Christmas brings out the child in all of us – me and my brother spent a frantic 20 minutes trying to beat each other at iPad table ice hockey (I won) and a few other games (again, I won).  My big brother then raided the attic and returned triumphant with his toy cars and all of his space lego (circa 1980) – I was delighted as finally, 30 years later, I would finally be allowed to play with it.  Mum told me that he used to build forts between me and his collection of lego to keep me and my little sticky fingers off of his precious toys.  And I can’t say that I was disappointed to watch Christmas DVDs meant for the kids – who knew that Polar Express was so charming?

I had a splendid couple of days getting jumped on, shot, and brainified.  It was fab – even if I was mostly over-fed, hungover and sleep-deprived.

So here’s to a quieter Christmas with me and the Mr, once I leave the office that is.

Finally – The Day Before The Day Before Christmas

Published December 23, 2013 by iftheshoefits


Hooray – my favourite day of the year!  The frenzy is nearly over, it’s almost time to kick back and relax and it’s almost too late to buy anything else.

I love Christmas – I always have.  My parents take it very seriously – I once arrived home late one night post school  Christmas dance to find my Mum sewing cotton wool onto invisible thread. Our dog was having the time of his life wrapping himself up in it all.  When I asked her what exactly she was doing, she simply replied, “I’m making snow”.  Beautiful.  Twenty years later that snow still makes a comeback in her living room window.  They moved from the islands to the highlands when I was at university and that first Christmas she had people knocking on her door to find out how she had made the snow.  Trade secret, I could tell you, but then she’d have to kill me.

I embrace a non-traditional Christmas look – I’m allergic to real trees so I have a 7ft navy blue prelit tree decorated with turquoise, blue and silver.  I love it – MrShoeThatAlwaysFits is a bit of a Christmas Bah Humbug so he suffers a lot living with me , but them’s the breaks – tee hee hee.  And whilst we’re on a non-traditional Christmas theme – I don’t make Christmas dinner (and not just because I can’t cook).  My all time favourite meal is curry, luckily, it’s the same for Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits, so we’ll be settling down on Christmas day (if he’s not working) to champagne, curry and red wine, followed up with a cheese board.  We’ve done that for a few years now and it’s our kind of Christmas day.

We really miss our families, but we’ve done our Christmas visit already and feel totally loved up.  And with the inventions of skype and facetime you’re never really that far away.

Now, I’m away to liven up the office with some Christmas music and a warm mince pie or two.  Merry Christmas one and all, good tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy.

When Christmas comes early…

Published December 9, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits and I have peaked too early this festive season.

In the last 2 weeks I’ve attended a black tie dinner, survived the office Christmas party and celebrated Christmas early with our families north of the border.  It’s only the 9th of December and I’ve eaten and drunk more in the last 10 days than I have over the previous 10 months.

We had a fabulous time with our families, where we had too much of everything, including the weather – one week into December and we had to sit on the Inverness runway for 45 minutes waiting for our plane to be de-iced – I’m heading back up on Friday 13th (cue ominous organ music) to see my brother, sister-in-law and nephews and like the proverbial Christmas family, I’ll pretty much be sleeping in the stables (well, under the dining room table anyway).

The office Christmas party was last Friday so today is the post-mortem.  I’ve heard about the £100 cab rides, the hi-jacking of a DJ booth in a Bavarian Christmas Bar, the colleague who slept in his car, a member of our senior management team having an impromptu quick change of clothes because of an unfortunate being vomited-upon incident, and an ‘as disturbing as Miley Cyrus’ twerking session.  All in all a roaring success – hmmm.  Thank goodness I was home, sober(ish) and sensible well ahead of the witching hour.

I’ve come through the first half of the month with my reindeer antlers, my dignity and my ankles intact, if not a little sore-footed.


And I received an absolutely darling secret santa present from someone who knows me too well.



Here’s to surviving the rest of the festive season with a bit of a swagger and a helping of good cheer.  Season’s greetings one and all.


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