Cutting Back On My Diary

Recently. I visited my GP surgery for an annual health checkup. This series of examinations incorporating a blood test, along with blood pressure, weight and cholesterol checks; the medical assessment brought to a conclusion by a dietary overview.

The nurse who undertook the checks was happy that my weight was within recommended parameters for my height. That being said, yours truly did receive the following, what I assumed to be, dietary advice from the medic:-

Nurse“From a health perspective, I’d recommend you cut back on your diary, Gary.”

Me“Do you not mean dairy, nurse?!

Nurse“No diary….. If you don’t stop writing that bloody silly daily blog I’ll kick you in the nuts!”

As I said above, the care assistant informed me that my Body Mass Index (BMI) of 24 was within acceptable parameters for a fella my weight and height. Mind you, if I’d have informed her my true height, as opposed to fibbing I was 8ft 2in tall, there’s a decent chance I’d have struggled to fit within acceptable BMI parameters.

Seriously, though, I’ve not felt too well recently, augmenting awareness of my own mortality. I think that feeling is one of the reasons I’ve started printing off the majority of my written output. Hard copies of literary trinkets captured as a legacy to my offspring. Whether they’ll embrace this paper bequeathal with open arms, or decide to use the parchments as barbecue fuel, remains to be seen.

Admittedly, I do need another hobby at the minute. A friend, on hearing of this search for a new pastime, suggested the sport of racing pigeons. I briefly mulled over the merits of this suggestion, but after concluding I’ve no chance of beating a bloody pigeon in a race I dismissed the notion out of hand.

However, I can’t bury my head in the sand any longer, the need to engage in active exercise is of paramount importance for me at this juncture of the ageing process. I walk regularly, however that’s nowhere near briskly paced enough to be classed as meaningful workout.

Luckily, I’m not a naturally overweight person, otherwise my recent inactivity may have had even deeper reaching health consequences. I’m unable to pinpoint the exact source of this lethargy and feeling of flatness.

I am aware, though, my body is trying to tell me something at the minute; and I don’t think that bulletin is “Your fly’s are open, Gary!”

I did exercise by playing five a side football, cricket and visit the gym regularly until a few years ago. However, my interest in those activities diminished when, at the dawning of the decade, my estranged wife was diagnosed with an incurable illness. It’s not rocket science to conclude yours truly’s exercise strategy needs addressing pronto.

Yours truly joined a couple of walking groups a few years back, providing me with picturesque and challenging walks in the Yorkshire Dales. However, I’ve let that slip recently which is something else that requires addressing.

Any partner I’ve had since leaving the marital home have been very supportive. Often suggesting there are several health benefits consequential of me walking the ten miles from their abodes to my home……. Especially if I take my stuff with me and never come back!

Apparently, one benefit was increased life longevity resultant from them not strangling me for my relentless mischief making.

Talking of healthy eating, I made a chicken and vegetable broth yesterday. Yes, I know i wasn’t talking about healthy eating; that fib was inserted as an ‘ingenious’ prologue allowing me to crowbar in a tale about yesterday’s culinary efforts by GJ Strachan..

I utilised the chicken carcass from last Sunday’s roast to make the stock and procure any remaining chicken meat. After removing the carcass I added potatoes, leek, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, onions and a bayleaf. I then put it on medium heat, said the magic words “Turn into broth, you b*****ds!” and let it simmer for 25 minutes.

broth ingredients

I got the recipe from the Jeremy Clarkson book “Recipes That Don’t Contain Socks!”, which a friend thoughtfully bought as a Christmas gift during a book signing session, in Leeds. She couldn’t be bothered to wait in the queue for Clarkson to sign it, so got it autographed by a store security guard – A fella with the curious name of Frank ‘Frankie’ Franklin.

I wouldn’t care, Frankie didn’t even pretend to be Clarkson; he just signed it with his own name! Following this curious episode I’m now in dubious possession of a book about cookery, written by a motor presenter and signed by a security guard.

It’s an unwanted present, but I have to say the chicken and veg broth recipe is well worth a try. It was tasty, wholesome, warm, healthy and unlike my last broth didn’t contain anything I’d recently worn on my feet. Real comfort food complimented wonderfully when served with rustic bread.

I’d like to clarify my comment in the previous paragraph about not containing anything that had been on my feet in my last broth……. Look, how was I to know the pan on the hob, where I placed the veg, contained a pair of socks my partner had been boiling clean………. I thought the socks were a large bouquet garni of herbs!


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