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NoveltiesphotoWe’re two weeks into the fitness kick here at the House of Gusto and slowly but surely, things are changing for the better. We have been aided by an unprecedented run of good health for the whole family – although obviously having typed that I will return today to seven plagues upon my house.

I have been exercising quite a lot. It turns out the trick to exercise is not trying too hard. Apparently I knew this when I was a child but had forgotten until now. A few weeks ago I came across an old homework book from when I was eight, in which I wrote the following sentence:

‘If it does not rain we are going to have our athletics carnival on Wednesday and I am going to get lots of energy so when the starter goes I am going to be champion of the novelties.’

Now that sentence says a few things to me. It says that my habit of writing overly long sentences goes back a very, very long way. It says my pessimism is deeply ingrained – these good things were only going to happen if it didn’t rain, which it probably would. And most importantly, it says that even at eight I knew that aiming low is the key to exercise success. I was not planning to win a running race. I was not planning to jump the highest or throw a javelin the furthest. I was aiming for ‘Champion of the Novelties’, which I think means things like the egg and spoon race and the sack race. History doesn’t relate how I actually fared at this carnival, but the lesson is one I carry with me today. (more…)

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More Cat, Less Complaining

Obie in repose

Obie in repose

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My most excellent friends Nic and Wilf are getting married today! So, in their honour, I present my top ten pieces of wedding day advice.

1. If your dress has buttons down the back with tiny button loops, do them up and undo them a few times before the moment when you are running forty-five minutes late for the ceremony. That is not the time to have your bridesmaid attempt to do them up for the first time. That will lead only to nervous panic and a call made to the seated guests for your bridesmaid’s all-capable mother to come in and help. If said mother is a nurse by training, this may cause mild panic among some of your guests, not to mention to your long-suffering intended who has been standing in front of everyone he knows for the best part of an hour, nervously cracking jokes accompanied only by his brother and his cat. (more…)

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Willows are weeds and this river bank is heavily eroded, but Hipstamatic makes it all pretty.

Am I in a David Lynch movie? With Hipstamatic, we all are.

It’s time I came out and said what we’re all thinking. My name is Jess and I am an addict. I am addicted to the Hipstamatic iPhone app. As addictions go, it’s a bit lame. It isn’t going to help me break up my family, squander my fortune or destroy my body. All it does is make the photos I take on my phone look old. (more…)

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