Monday, 7 April 2014

A Gruelling Weekend on the Settee!

The hardest thing about being a writer is convincing your wife that lying on the sofa is work.”

My real man has been away and this was an ideal opportunity to (no, not that) finish the next book in a series I am writing on useful key recipes without the distraction of programmes about the war, power tools and other manly noises.

Said real man calls all my writing endeavours “sitting on the settee” even when I rather sportingly sit on a hard wooden chair at the table.  He is proud of my having had a real book really published and of my other writings but he doesn’t understand how physically hard work it is.  I do – it hurts! 

So I wanted to tell you about a very handy little programme I downloaded which has helped immensely plus a cunning plan I have put into operation.

Firstly the useful programme.  I have been experiencing all sorts of eye problems recently from itching, blurring and soreness to sudden pains like a needle stabbing my eye.  Of course this worried me so I looked up “eyestrain caused by computer work” and discovered, ta da …

Their argument is that a computer screen is designed to replicate working in bright sunshine and that this is not natural for us for so many hours a day so it adjusts the brightness automatically making it warmer at night.

I downloaded f.lux, which is free incidentally, about a week ago and oh golly gosh my eyes feel better - get it here.

So now to my cunning plan.  I have not only realised, but been told over and over again, that I should get some exercise and I agree that sitting about all day, even if I am waggling my fingers a lot, is probably not enough activity.  On the other hand it is pouring with rain, I don’t drive and where we live has nothing much to look at.  Also, of course, I am busy thinking and writing.  So I have made a promise to myself and so far so good.  Every time I have to stand up, whatever the reason – I will walk up and down stairs five times and then do the exercises I am going to tell you about. 

These exercises were recommended to me a while back by a great physiotherapist when I had not one but two frozen shoulders. 


I am going to try to explain these two exercises which work well for me but I recommend that you look into them further before having a go. Certainly don’t rely on what I say because I am a cheffy food writer type thing and not a doctor but I do really recommend further investigation.

Exercise 1

I think this is called a neck retraction and what I do is, standing tall and straight and looking forward I drawn my head back and bring my chin down slightly. When I do this I can feel the top of my spine stretching.  I do this ten times for a count of 10 each time just after I’ve just gone up and down the stairs as mentioned above.  My physio told me this would also help counteract a windows hump.

Exercise 2

I don’t know what this is called.  Whilst standing with my arms hanging loosely at my sides I roll my shoulders kind of backwards and downwards whilst squeezing my shoulder blades together. Then for good measure I pull my chin back as above. I do this ten times for a count of 10 too.

I do apologise for using the word “exercise” so much, I realise it can be upsetting but I'm trying to help.

Key Recipes

The book I have just uploaded to Amazon (see my previous post about how to do this) is the third in a series I am writing, each book giving one key recipe with numerous ways to use it and lots of other useful information.  The idea is that readers will be inspired by the information I give them to go on to create their own delicious meals.

This one is about soup and gives 50 recipes for soup plus others for stocks, garnishes and accoutrements and looks like this - look inside here.

One other thing …

If you’d like a free copy of my “219 Cooking Tips & Techniques you might find useful” (it’s a big sexy 77p on Amazon but you might as well have it for nothing!) pop over to Sudden Lunch! and click the link in the sidebar. There is an option to sign up for my Sudden Lunch! posts to be delivered straight to your inbox, it’s not compulsory but you might like them!