Holy Meltingness!

Wednesday 1st July – Canada Day for some, and the hottest day of the year so far in the UK. 

The kind of day where it feels like you’re walking through soup, and chugging three litres of water (truth!) does nothing to replace the fluids you’ve lost.

Where you worry you’re going to pass out. Or contemplate shaving your head.

Where your skin feels too tight, and dry, despite the schvitzing, and your feet swell to three times their size, testing the boundaries of your most comfortable sandals.

Where your hands are so sticky, you can’t work the touchscreen on anything. 

Where sweat trickles down the back of your legs, and you’re too frazzled to care. Even the pretty people are looking a bit wan today.

Where you contemplate filling the paddling pool, adding ice, sticking your feet in, and reading your book in the garden….wait, this is possible….see you later!

Caffeine-Free Coffee Share #4

Did you know you can cold brew tea? I didn’t! So I had to give it a go. I cold-brewed a lemongrass & green tea blend in one jar, and a black tea with mango and dried rose in another jar. I used half a teaspoon of loose tea per 500 mls/18 fl oz of room temperature water, and then popped the jars in the fridge overnight. The results were delicious, and research on this method suggests that the caffeine and ‘bitterness’ leached into the brew is a whole lot less than hot tea, so you need less sweetening. Score! Here are some fantastic instructions from Samovar Tea if you need a step-by-step guide.

I’ve heard you can do this with coffee, too, and now that the weather in London finally seems to resemble summer, I’m going to give it a whirl. Might impress some of my new colleagues with my skills. Two weeks in, and I’m just about settled into my job! It’s a good place to be. There’s so much I don’t know, but the learning is ridiculous amounts of fun. I have a deeper respect for the sweat and effort that goes in to producing a monthly magazine. And I even got a chance to go to a show with the team; seeing how much people enjoy and appreciate the magazine was such a buzz.

Tempering the buzz is the return of the excruciating pain in my hip. It’s only been three months since I wrote this post for Photo101, so gleeful about the lack of pain. Time to consider some serious medical intervention when the pain is affecting my mood and what I do! Perhaps I should join some of my new colleagues at lunchtime yoga? Any and all suggestions welcome at this stage; I really would like to get off this roller-coaster of fire-fighting various symptoms.

I’ve just about got a handle on my diet and what I can and can’t eat. There’s a great little Turkish deli near work, and they take great joy in offering me a new selection of gluten-free lunches every day. I’m sure most people in line behind me think I’m trying to get ‘beach body ready’, rather than fuel my body with foods that won’t poison me, but I don’t really care when I’ve got my mouth full of delicious lemon-grilled chicken and home-made tzatziki. I’ve never been beach-body-ready (unless you count exfoliating  my skin and painting my toenails), and I’m not about to start now.

If I had a wish list for my holiday this summer, it would read like this: 

  • Being pain free, with all conditions in remission, leaving me able to explore with my adventurous family
  • Being warm enough for my bones to soak up enough sun to give me a happy glow, and ditch the Vit D pills
  • Discovering local delicacies, finding some new recipes
  • Having a magical unlimited supply of cold-brewed tea on tap
  • Finding comfortable swimsuits that don’t ride up, roll down, bag or sag, in some happy colours – turquoise, cobalt, coral, mango?
  • Relaxing with my husband and daughter, unplugged from our gadgets for as long as we can
  • Writing, really writing, and letting all the characters I have grow and develop into real people fit for a book!

What’s on your list for the summer? Know where I can find my dream swimsuit? Tempted to cold-brew some tea? 

Caffeine-free Coffeeshare #2

If we were having coffee, well, you’d be drinking coffee and I’d be drinking some delicious, fragrant Kusmi tea that the Breton Bestie brought me back from Paris. Two years in London and she still doesn’t trust the tea here. I’m delighted by her thoughtful gift, because as a newly-minted coeliac disease sufferer, I’m trying to be as kind as I can to my digestive self. Atoning for my previous gastronomic sins includes avoiding caffeinated drinks. It’s a small price to pay (or so I tell myself).

I’d tell you the other amusing conclusion from the labs done the other week is a shocking Vitamin D deficiency. As in, soft bones and teeth. Finally!! A sensible explanation for the creaking joints and cracked teeth (I’m sure grinding my teeth with stress didn’t help). So I am on mega-doses of Vitamin D to redress the imbalance. And I have to go sun myself for at least 10 minutes a day WITHOUT SUNSCREEN. Talk about living on the wild side! I intend to fully embrace this, once the English weather cooperates. Seriously though, when is this weather going to let up? Can we shunt some of this rain to California?

Speaking of California, David Anderson, a neurobiologist at CalTech, is attempting to create more specific treatments for psychiatric illnesses. How amazing would it be to walk through the rain with an umbrella, instead of feeling like you were stumbling through, slightly blind and bewildered, with a tarpaulin thrown over your head? Am I the only one who feels like this on meds? I can’t be! David’s research greatly excites me, for all the possibilities it opens up. Watch his TEDx talk here: 

I still have no clearer view on Bloglovin’ – check out all the comments on my last post and feel free to add your two cents/pence/pesos. I might just sign myself up and see if I can create a simple user guide, and work out the pros & cons. Anyone else want to join in?

What are your plans for the weekend? How are you feeling this week? Is it nearly summer or winter where you are?