My blogging frequency has dropped in recent times, mainly because of time pressures. Take the last two weeks. When I wasn't giving necessary attention to the new Sony tablet, there were these social events to fit in:
17 April - Clare Project (and apres-CP drink) in Brighton
18 April - Electrolysis with Roz in Bexley
20 April - Hair at Trevor Sorbie, Brighton
22 April - Friend R--- visiting me at home, partly to help me in the garden, and then to share an evening meal cooked by my own hand
23 April - Four new high-performance tyres fitted at Caffyns (the Volvo dealer) in Portslade
24 April - Clare Project (and apres-CP drink) in Brighton
25 April - Lunch with some former HMRC colleagues at Zizzi in South Croydon
26 April - Lunch and shopping with my sister-in-law G--- at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth
28 April - Electrolysis with Roz in Bexley
29 April - Sunday lunch at my friend A---'s in Brighton, with four other friends invited too
30 April - Consultation with Dr Richard Curtis in London
This is not an untypical two weeks. I really do end up driving big distances across the South of England every couple of days. This is mostly why I cover some 17,000 miles a year, despite not working. It takes up time. And if you take into account the minimum time and effort required for food shopping, cooking, washing up, clothes washing and ironing, gardening, and my own ablutions - not forgetting time out to sleep - then in a busy period the blogging is going to get squeezed. Thank goodness I can afford to have a cleaner! And thank goodness I don't have to spend hours on Facebook!
It's been an expensive two weeks. Two electrolysis sessions: £154. Hair: £70, plus tip. Four new tyres: £856. Dr Curtis: £120, plus rail fare. Another £1,000 gone. Plus diesel for Fiona, and food in and out. Oh, and one top bought at Sainsbury's for £8.
The tyres Fiona uses have to be the wide, low-profile type for 18 inch wheels: size 235/60 R18. So it's not surprising they're expensive. When new, she had Pirelli Pzero Rosso tyres fitted; now I've switched to Continental Gross Contact. The Continentals are nicer - just as good at getting the power down onto the road, but quieter, much less rumble. 'Gross Contact' is an odd name! I think they're made in Germany, so I'm guessing that it's an Anglicised version of 'Gross Kontakt', which would perhaps translate as 'massive grip'. As opposed to 'obscene touching'. They're great tyres though, and I hope they last as well as the Pirellis did. I was getting 17,000 miles from my front tyres, and exactly double that, 34,000 miles, from the rear pair. Not too bad really. I should cut down on my motoring, and eke out their lifespan, but that would be inhibiting. After all, driving about is a major pleasure for me, an enjoyable and exciting activity in itself. Here's Fiona looking super-capable and freshly-booted in the Gunwharf Quays underground car park:
That was the second South Croydon lunch I've had with ex-colleagues. It went just as well as the first last year. There were five of us - including three still-serving officers, so obviously I can't show any table pictures. But here's one of myself, anyway, in the upstairs ladies' loo at Zizzi, having a playful time with the mirror reflections, as you do:
The Sunday lunch was delightful, a lot of fun (and a lot of wine). Again, five of us. For once, I'll break my convention and show a picture of The Gang (or is it the Rat Pack?), although I'll stick with my convention by not identifying who they are - except to say that I'm the tubby person in green on the left:
It's not actually my picture. The girl standing next to me is a pro photographer and used her Nikon on a stout tripod. The result seems very good. These are my 'Sunday Lunch' friends, and I have others whom I see at the CP or elsewhere. R---, for example, my surfing and tennis-playing friend from Guernsey, who helped me plant the azalea recently. I just wanted you to see that I really do have a proper social life!
The visit to Dr Curtis today was almost a signing-off. I'd been seeing him at least once every six months since December 2008, and henceforth it'll be only once a year. The latest test results showed all the right levels for oestragen, etc, and it was clear that I've stabilised. So an annual consultation will be adequate.
I did ask him about two things. First, my testosterone level is very low, just the trickle you'd expect from the adrenal gland, and, prompted by someone else, I enquired about medication to tweak the testosterone up a bit, with a view to feeling sexier overall. Dr Curtis advised against it though. Introducing more testosterone might easily interfere with my other medication, and there was no drug he could recommend that wouldn't lead to unwanted hair growth. I didn't mind too much. Although my libido is low, there's no real point in jacking it up, if I'm not seriously going to look for a partner. I might simply end up frustrated! I'm quite happy to stay cool and serene.
Secondly, I asked about taking Progesterone to enhance breast and nipple development. Dr Curtis's negative views on Progesterone were well-known, set out in a paper he wrote, although contradicted by the experience of some people who had bought and used this drug. He thought that because it would simulate the pre-natal state, I'd simply put on more weight. Certainly, the extra fat gained would tend to increase breast size. And yes, some milk duct tissue might form behind the nipple, which could lead to a 'better' nipple shape. It depended on the individual. But if I was satisfied with what I already had - which really I was - then again it was an exta layer of medication on top of all that I was already taking, and it was not worth courting unwelcome side-effects or conflicts for a very small effect on my bust size and shape. I did rather share this view myself - I was already popping too many pills!
I began this post on 30 April and now it's 1 May. Right then, white rabbits! (You have to say 'white rabbits!' to ensure good luck throughout the month to come. Trust me)
Time for bed.