I won the Christmas raffle prize at slimming World. Our group leader does one of these herb & spice ‘crackers’ each year and I’ve always coveted it. I could, of course, make my own, or even just stock up on new jars but it’s just not the same as winning!
The ‘S’ in the middle is for star anise. I don’t think I’ve ever used it so look forward to trying it out. Apparently it is the fruit of an evergreen tree which is native to southern China and is mostly used in savoury dishes.
Our dedicated Slimming World group leader is running our usual Monday class on Sunday (Christmas eve) morning. The next class will run as usual the following Monday (New Year’s Day). All designed to keep us on the straight and narrow – though she’s not unrealistic! I think attending on New Year’s Day is a perfect time for a new start (and I’m sure to need it by then).
We had an unexpected overnight visitor last night. Youngest granddaughter decided that, at seven, she is now brave enough to stay over without her big sister (who has always been happy to stay unaccompanied). It was lovely to peep in late at night and see her fast asleep. They always look so gorgeous, don’t they? I recently wrote about Elf (on the shelf). He came with her so we had to think of an adventure for him. Quite what he did, we have no idea, but he was found this morning driving a Playmobile dustcart and eating a happy hippo wafer biscuit. Granddaughter seemed happy with that.
I finished work yesterday for a thirteen day holiday. HOORAY!! Although we’re only closed for two days, because of how my work days fall, I’ve only had to take two days annual leave to get almost two weeks off. This morning eight of us gym ladies met for coffee and mince pies. A couple of glasses of Bucks Fizz, shortbread, chocolates, macaroons and sausage rolls later, we got around to the coffee and mince pies! We also had a secret Santa with restrictions ….no chocolate, no alcohol and a budget of £4. It certainly tests ingenuity! I received a useful shopping bag which folds up into a tiny package that fits into even a small handbag. If only I remember to take it with me! The boot of my car is always well stocked with shopping bags but do I remember to take them into the supermarket? Rarely.
My night-cramps have improved, though not completely disappeared. Peculiarly, it mostly attacks my shins or across my instep. Rarely does it occur in my calves which is, for most people, the common place. Whether or not my four-pronged attack is working (see below) or I’m just going through a better phase, I really don’t know. The banana, in case you’re wondering is a source of magnesium, a lack of which is thought to be a cause of cramp. The Epsom salts are reputed to help. The hot water bottle is probably the greatest help. As soon as the warning comes (I feel a tightness in the muscle) I make sure the bottle is in the right place and it really does seem to ward it off. Fortunately by the time it’s cooled, my legs seem to have relaxed. Who knows – perhaps it’s all in my mind.