This morning the sun shone.
It's amazing how much better you feel with a little sunlight and warmth permeating in through the glass.
I trotted downstairs and made our morning drinks. Starman had had a gloriously comfortable night - he had taken up most of the bed, at least two thirds - whilst I was left squeezed in against his side, or alternatively clinging to the bed edge. The house was quiet because number one son had gone to work as the engine has supposedly blown on one of his Landrovers and he now has to earn the money for a replacement engine, or at the very least, an expensive repair job on the existing one.
We sat sipping our respective hot drinks talking about the usual sort of things that go on in usual sorts of houses. Day to day life in other words.
But then there was a shift in conversation. We found ourselves discussing the HOH's responsibilities for care of his other half. I don't know who started the conversation, but it became quite interesting as Starman told me he hadn't realised quite how much lay on his shoulders. He'd just never considered it.
However, I could almost hear the cogs going round in his mind as the possibilities became apparent.
We had discussed 'weight' during the week. I had mentioned to him that I was worried about my weight gain. I hardly dared weigh myself. I had done very little exercise since before we had our series of bad colds, and then life in general, and Easter in particular had gotten in the way. I found myself explaining to him that I could do with a little 'incentive' to lose some weight. I knew I needed to lose at least a stone, perhaps more. Would this be something he felt he could help me with.
He thought about it for a minute or two. "But I need to lose a stone as well" he told me. "Why don't we both keep an eye on our diets? It would be much nicer to lose weight together, and from the cooking point of view it would be easier for you surely?"
I agreed with him. But immediately a problem reared its head. He had returned from the supermarket last night, not only with a bottle, but had also brought back two rather large packets of crisps. You call them 'chips' in the US. Well these are called 'Kettle Chips' and are thicker than usual, and he had bought a packet of 'plain' and a packet of 'vintage cheddar and chives', which he had opened first.
He had asked me whether I wanted any. I had declined, trying to keep to my weight loss plan. He had gotten up off the sofa, and literally wafted the opened packet under my nose. I don't eat many crisps, but these smelled so good, and my mouth literally watered. Before I knew it I was taking a large handful.
Well, we ended up eating the lot. Starman was very contented. I was not happy with myself for giving in so easily. This was no good. I would be putting more weight on instead of losing it. What could I do? Hence our conversation.
"I have several Blogland friends with a similar problem" I informed him. I then went on to carefully outline what their husbands saw as remedies.
"Do you think you might be able to help me in a comparable way?" I asked him. "After all, I not only need to watch my weight, but I have to watch my sugar intake as well. So you would be directly taking care of my health and well-being. It's only an idea. I'm not telling you. Just asking if it might be something you could think about."
I have never known Starman to take so little time thinking about something!
He looked at his watch.
"I have to get up. Got a busy day ahead of me if the sun is going to shine. I need to get out and clear around the duck pond. Pull out all that old wire-netting that's got lodged in the grass."
He sat up suddenly pulling his pillows up behind his back. "Right then. Hurry up. Go get the hairbrush."
Suddenly a good idea didn't seem quite as good as it had ten minutes before.
But then at least it was an opponent I had had previous experience with.
I climbed into position handing him the dreaded implement, not even daring to wonder whether I would get any sort of warm up.
He rubbed my bottom a few times and then brushed my cheeks with the bristles. I squawked. "You can't do that! You'll puncture me!"
Starman laughed. "It's turning you pink very quickly. I told you I didn't have much time this morning. Just you lie still and leave it to me."
He gave me a few perfunctory swats with his hand. It didn't last long and certainly didn't hurt.
Then SWAT! My feet swung up and nearly took his eyebrows off. "Ouch!" I shrieked. SWAT!
"I am going to give you ten. That should be enough to help you remember" Starman told me.
I ouched my way through every one of them.
When they didn't stop I informed Starman that he had gone over the number and must have forgotten to count. I was really burning.
"No Ami" he replied. "When I said ten, I meant ten to each cheek! Any less wouldn't be very effective now would it?" He paused for a minute and gave me a quick 'in between spanks' rub.
"I think I could get used to the Maintenance business" he said glibly. "Shall we say ten in future for every pound you put on instead of take off?"
I was doing my over the knee version of 'front crawl'.
"But is this fair?" I asked him. "You told me you need to lose weight as well!"
He had the temerity to laugh again!
"Ami, you suggested this. If you start to moan about it I will make a rule that states 'Ami gets ten for every pound Starman puts on' as well."
Whilst the spanks were nowhere near 'punishment' strength, they have left me with a rosy glow and a sore derriere!
All I can says Fellow Friends and Bloggers, is that I caution you to be very careful when asking your HOHs for help with health issues. They can rebound on you!
So this week the recipe is for all my fellow dieters, and you will probably get similar recipes for the foreseeable future!
Oriental Rice Salad with Mixed Peppers and Prawns
300 kcals - Serves 4 - preparation time 15 minutes!
1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 orange pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
300 g (11ozs) bean sprouts
6 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
Half a cucumber, cut into thin sticks
250g (9 ozs) cooked, peeled, king prawns
300 g (11 ozs) cooked, long-grain (Basmati) rice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
For the Sweet Chilli Dressing:
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce or 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp runny honey
15 g (quarter of an ounce) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 First make the dressing. Put all the ingredients for the dressing into a large salad bowl and whisk together to combine.
2 Just before serving, add all the salad ingredients, apart from the sesame seeds. Toss everything together to coat in the dressing, then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Serve at once.
Each serving provides:
18 g protein
8 g fat of which 1 g saturates
40.5 g carbohydrate of which 15 g sugars
4 g fibre
725 mg sodium
248 g vegetables
I hope you all have a great weekend! I may even venture out into the garden myself and plant some flower seeds in trays in the greenhouse and I need to press on with my patchwork cot quilt. Then there is also a fairish amount of spring-cleaning to consider. Hmmmm......