Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

27 Sep 2015

French Clothing Sizes

On Friday we spent several hours and quite a bit of money buying stuff in Decathlon. We needed some specific things and some things were on sale after the summer. Owing to my body shape change as a result of losing nearly 20 kg this year, a lot of my clothes - regular and sport - don't fit properly. Some I've been able to alter and some I can get away with, but some are now uncomfortable to wear or look absurd...

Decathlon design a lot of their own kit and then have it made all over the world. In that respect they are no different from many other companies both British and foreign. What is striking though is that unlike British and American brands, the stated size is more often the actual stated size, rather than a vanity size. For example to buy M&S or Next trousers I need to buy one size smaller than the quoted size or they fall down, but at Decathlon, I just need to buy the correct size and they fit...

16 Sep 2015

Vanity Sizing

Owing to a reduction in my body mass I've been forced to buy new clothing. It's been an expensive process and annoying to replace otherwise perfectly usable clothes...

I happened to have some older clothes that were not used much as they had previously been a little on the small size. The good news is that I've been able to wear them more regularly so I've avoided buying a few things!

One thing does annoy me. Unlike women's clothing which uses strange numbers, most men's clothing using simple actual measurements, waist of x inches / y centimetres. It's a fairly straight forward system, you know how big your waist size etc and should should be able to buy off-the-peg clothing without too much of a worry. However it's not true anymore! My older clothes when measured with a tape are the size that the label says. The modern ones vary wildly - though they all seem to be much larger than the label says. For example:

  • 20 year old pairs of M&S St. Michael Jeans, says 34", are 34"
  • 20 year old pairs of BHS chinos, says 34", are 34"
  • Modern M&S relaxed fit chinos, says 36", at least 38" more as they age
  • Modern Craghoppers Kiwi walking trousers, says 30", more like 33"

Some clothes, like jeans and those with elasticated bits do get larger with wear and washing, but even so modern clothes seem to be at least once size (2"/5 cm) larger than the label says they should be. Older clothing from the same company is the size it says...

At the moemnt I'm about a real size of 33"/84 cm waist, which is a pain as British men's trousers don't come in odd sizes, so it's either a real size of 32" (tight) or 34" (loose), but in vanity sizing that could be anything from 30"...

13 Sep 2015

Weight Reduction Rate

Over the weekend I recalculated my weight reduction rate target. As you lose weight your BMR falls, mine has come down by about 700 kj. That means to lose weight at the same rate as before I have to eat even less than I was previously. That means eating such a low energy diet that I'll probably miss important stuff out and I could start to lose muscle mass rather than fat.

Since hitting my weight plateau a few weeks ago I've been careful to not over indulge and to push harder on the bike. Re-plotting my weight against target on the new weekly reduction rate of 550 g per week rather than 750 g per week has resulted in a more realistic trajectory that I'm sticking to. Even after my holiday I'm still on target and should hit a healthy weight at the end of November this year.

One problem I do face is clothing. Lots of my clothes now fit me like a tent. Trousers fall down and shirts flap about in the wind... I've bought some smaller clothing, men's size small or medium rather than large or extra-large as previous, but I'm waiting until I reach my healthy target weight so I don't end up with new clothes that are too large. One problem I will face is that, in Basingstoke at least, I can't buy men's casual trousers in a small enough size in any of the local department stores, they don't stock anything small enough! Jeans I can get as they sell them to teenagers who should be smaller than full grown men, but they aren't really allowed for work...

09 Sep 2015

Cambridge Gage Jam

Last year our gage tree (probably a Cambridge Gage) had plenty of fruit but they were all inedible. This year it had plenty of fruit, so much so that as fast as we collect it there is even more ready to collect....

It's been a while since we had gages to jam. I used the same method as previously, though I added a fraction more sugar as the fruit wasn't fully ripe. Today's batch was 1.7 kg of fruit (cleaned and destoned), 350 g water and 1.2 kg of sugar, plus the usual juice of a frozen and defrosted lemon. The yield was pretty good and as we have loads of fruit left, even after we give some of them away I'll do another batch later this week.

04 Sep 2015

Summer Holiday 2015 (Days 14)

Today is our last day...

We left our campsite for the last time, said good buy to the animals and cycled back to St Peter Port. While getting bread I had a nice conversion with a local politician who asked me how I found cycling on the island, then we went and queued for our ferry home. Condor ferries were as useless going back to the UK as they were for getting us here and we were about the very last people to board, even though we had arrived with hours to spare...

We had an easy train ride home, with no problems, and a nice dry ride from the station to home. Total distance travelled on holiday 371 km (230 miles), not quite as much as the 929 km from last year, but more hills this time!

Picture of the day: Filter In Turn.

03 Sep 2015

Summer Holiday 2015 (Days 12/13)

Today was supposed to be nice so we booked a day trip to the island of Sark. We left the port early in the morning after buying bread for our sandwich and took the ferry to Sark.

Guernsey is very pretty and Sark is also pretty but in a different way. We had a jolly nice day there on foot and in the sunshine once we had escaped the hoards that came with us. The Bailiwick 1:10000 map was almost unusable as virtually all structures on the ground were not on the map and neither were field boundaries, but we survived and mostly didn't get lost!

Picture of the day: Castle Pier Lighthouse at St. Peter Port on the way out.

After yesterday's beautiful sunshine and walking on Sark, today we planned to circumnavigate Guernsey again for the last time before going home. So after popping into town for bread and some shopping - I got a very good deal on a cycling rain jacket in a water-sports shop, we returned to the camp for lunch. Once fully refuelled we set of on our second Tour de Guernsey!

Picture of the day: In the distance.

01 Sep 2015

Summer Holiday 2015 (Days 10/11)

After yesterday's busy day, we had another nice enough day and we were out and about most of the day. We had a nice long bike ride in the afternoon.

After the bike ride we went up to see the pigs, we arrived just as they were escaping and had to help the keeper put them back in the enclosure. We had a log chat with the animal keeper at the campsite who is a casual worker who just came down for the summer.

After feeding and re-homing the pigs I sent a TXT to a local outdoor company to enquire about see kayaking, as tomorrow should be a good day.

Picture of the day: Our Tent made in France no less...

Today was a bit different. As we knew it was going to be nice and after a certain amount of dithering on my part we booked up to try sea-kayaking. I didn't take my camera on the kayak so I've not pictures of the event.

Interesting coincidence, as we were waiting for someone to come out of a sea cave I passed a comment about the pink granite rocks, and our guide made a comments about the colour being quite red/orange rather than pink. I said it reminded me of home (i.e. Lancashire) and he asked where that was. I said Hampshire now days but I really meant Lancashire - where I grew up - to which he asked which bit as he was also a Lancastrian. So I said East Lancashire, and then he said which bit, so I said Rossendale and then he volunteered he was from Bacup! Spooky to find someone from your home town while bobbing up and down of the southern coast of Guernsey!

After changing out of my swimming trunks, we then cycled back to base for lunch and then half way round the island on a glorious afternoon!

Picture of the day: Petit Bot Bay, where we went out to sea. It had a lot less water in than when we left an hour or so earlier. Our guide/instructor told us there was a 10 metre tidal range, which is rather a lot.