Sunday, 17 April 2011

Blogorexia: Could A Repurposed Spoon Holder Be Partly To Blame?

In my previous post about a thumbnail deformity, where I speculated that I may in fact be a mutant life form after all, the conversation turned to possible diagnoses of this unusual condition, which turned out not to be all that unusual in fact. Of the explanations under consideration, malnutrition topped the list as the most likely suspect. Now Mr Bonkers will tell you that he thinks I don't eat enough. There are sporadic references in this blog to my rare bouts of cooking, and to the cupboards in our house being bare, most notably when I go away on my trips and Mr B is left to forage for himself, gnaw on empty pizza boxes and so forth. You see, Mr Bonkers is not one to interact much with kitchen appliances - or even shops selling provisions. On the rare occasions when he used to accompany me to the supermarket, ostensibly to push the trolley and manhandle cases of UHT milk, he would while away the time quite happily in the CD aisle as I did the actual shopping bit. Since the advent of iTunes, however, the CD aisle has lost its allure and if any groceries do get bought - which isn't often - it is invariably by me on my own.

And the upshot of this is that I've lost a fair bit of weight in the past 12 months. I always used to hover between 112 and 115 lbs (or for British readers, 8 stone to 8 st 3), and currently I am only 106 lbs or 7 st 6. That might not sound like a big drop, but it is when you are quite small to start with.

One cause is doubtless the intermittent stressful phases associated with my work - I say "intermittent" because being self-employed, the work itself is intermittent - the jobs are continuously stressful when I am doing them! But I have been doing the same job for 25 years now, and my weight has mostly stayed constant, so I reckon the main reason for my recent weight loss is "blororexia", the term for being so absorbed by the act of blogging that you forget to eat. I am definitely that soldier, for it can be 10 or 11pm at night before my mind turns to thoughts of food, and it is not unknown for Mr Bonkers and me to be sitting down to our evening meal around midnight. Being a musician, Mr B is at least used to erratic hours, and for the most part he is ridiculously grateful for offers of food at any time of night or day.

I think my own level of distraction by the blogosphere is disproportionate - and exceptional. Although a number of you "weighed in" (no pun intended) to tell me that you also have groovy thumbnails, I am not expecting a similar response here. Case in point: Olfactoria of Olfactoriastravels is one of the most prolific bloggers in the fumisphere, yet she looks very bonny and of perfectly normal size in a recent snap taken in London last week, from which I deduce that she still finds time to eat. By her own admission, she has "mastered the art of scheduling", and with two young children to look after, that figures.

But without comparable responsibilities, I can be much more cavalier about meal times, bed times, and any other kinds of times. I do partly blame any Americans out there - the fact that so many US bloggers/readers are just getting into gear with their bloggery at about midnight our time does tend to nudge me into staying up later than is advisable.

So what has all this to do with spoons, I hear you ask? Or, for that matter, perfume? Well, at Christmas my friend gave me this cute little pouch containing a number of miniature, jewel-like teaspoons. I am inclined to call them "microspoons", so tiny are they - the sort that would be ideal if you were one of those people who takes a fifth of a spoonful of sugar in their tea. Or for eating dwarf boiled eggs chickens? Are there such things? By analogy with bonsai trees, I reckon there must be. There's a project for Bloody Frida, if not.

I hadn't ever seen a spoon holder like this one. The only spoon holders I know are the metal standy sort you prop up a wooden spoon in while you are cooking. As you can see from the picture, my own spoon holder has been repurposed as a kitchen timer and vitamin bottle holder. So it willl come as no surprise to you all to learn that the moment I saw this little holder for the dinky teaspoons, my mind immediately turned to other possible applications. Now I sense that dinky spoons are not the way to go if you are looking to put on weight rather than severely curtail your portions, for arguably, dispensing with eating utensils altogether - and by implication eating - and just finding yet more convenient ways to store and transport perfume instead isn't going to help me lose my Beau's Lines...

Photo of skeleton from, photo of woman at computer from, other photos my own


Carol said...

well I think what you need to do is have the MOTH live with you so he can cook for you. I blame him for the reason I'm 2 stone overweight!

And there ARE 'dwarf chickens' - but they're called bantams and our bantams will be laying in early autumn, so you must come back again to have bantam eggs!

I love the re-purposing the spoon container/pocket! ;) My beaded purse is now too small for all my samples I keep with me.

And btw, I can see why you blame us - oftentimes I see a post from one of you bloggers in Europe I think "why aren't they in bed yet!)

Vanessa said...

Hi BF!

A daily portion of MOTH's delicious scrambled egg would be a great start, for sure. Not forgetting the blueberry smoothie with that. : - )

And thanks for explaining about the bantams - I will keep the microspoons in readiness...

You are right, I should be in bed a lot of the time when I am in fact online. I see 1am most nights and occasionally 3am.

Cymbaline said...

I think it would be an interesting experiment for you to eat regularly (and more) for a while to see if it makes any dfference with your nail shape. You might notice also that you'll feel better in general. I tend to eat lightly and inconsistently too. My body gets used to not enough food or water and keeps chugging along so I don't think I'm undernourished, but when I do eat better(Dr's orders), I really notice the changes. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! (do Brits use that expression?)

It sure is fun to have you reply to our comments at all hours though! You do a great job with this blog, but do take care of yourself- we want you around for a good long time : )

Anonymous said...

You're wasting away, lassie - there's still time to get clootie dumplings and other hefty foodstuffs down you before the salad weather arrives.

More sensibly, maybe use part of your computer time to order groceries online for delivery? Nothing like getting the freezer and cupboards filled in a pretty painless way to improve your mealtime options!
Also, OH and I divided the weekday nights between us, so OH makes dinner on Mondays and Fridays, I do Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Wednesdays are for Takeaways (Sprog chooses). Weekends are a more relaxed free-for-all! Any chance you and Mr B could figure out a dinner schedule too?

just some thoughts.

mind yourself,

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

Angela Cox said...

Oh Vanessa I could certainly donate some weight ! I have to admit to being a bit worried about you but I am not your Mum. I love goat's milk mixed with fruit juice ,it's something to drink as you blog and read etc. Goat's milk tastes a little strong at first but it's easier to digest .

Vanessa said...

Hi Cymbaline,

Thanks for your good wishes and sensible advice - people may be pleased to hear that I am cooking my evening meal as I type, although the potatoes have just boiled dry and I have burnt the pan rather badly...

Now I do take vitamins and so on, but I realise they are no replacement for proper meals. Will see if I can transform my nails back to their former smooth state through dietary improvements and let you all know!

And yes, we do say "Bright eyed and bushy tailed" as it happens, though like you I am never sure which idioms are the same on both sides of the pond. : - )

Vanessa said...

Hi Anna,

Online shopping - of course. Indeed, Mr Bonkers suggested the same thing just today, so I think I may see the Tesco website in my future...

Afraid there is zero chance of getting Mr Bonkers to rustle up any food, other than hunt and gather a takeaway. The one and only time he "cooked" for me in 15 years was when I fell downstairs and had a lumbar injury. The day it happened I distinctly recollect him grilling some veggie sausages, with me calling out instructions from my prone position on the sofa. He may even have opened a bag of salad with that.

Vanessa said...

Hi Angela,

If you spot a passing lorry heading up the A34, just pop any weight you want shot of on that and send it up to me. Meanwhile I might try your goat's milk smoothie idea. Sounds suitably bonkers!

: - )

Hazel said...

I distinctly remember giving you a juicer as a pressie years ago so there is No Excuse. Today I used mine to mulch a tangerine, kiwi fruit, apple, Nashi pear and some grapes for lunch. I am vitamined to the nines without the tedious chore of actually chewing anything.

Vanessa said...

Hi Hazel,

You did, you did! (Rummages in cupboard...)

Being "vitamined to the nines" is the state of nutritional nirvana I am seeking to attain.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so "bonny" means fat in English, does it? ;)
I certainly find the time to eat, rather too much time gets devoted to that particular activity, actually.
Maybe you didn't find the right things to eat yet, as somebody who will probably never have a problem being overweight, you could experiment with what you really like, so eating seems less of a chore than a pleasure. Also, I find eating and blogging can be combined perfectly, at least when only reading. The solution for you might be reading food blogs though. ;)
Seriously, I hope you find a good balance, since I love reading your posts, so you need your strength!

Rose said...

I would have come up with exactly the same use for that poach!

Vanessa said...

Hi Rose,

Good on you! Repurposers unite!

Vanessa said...

Hi Olfactoria,

Oh dear me noooooooooo!! Anna will correct me if I am mistaken, but I have always thought that "bonny" is the Scottish word for "fair", in a healthy, radiant sort of way, as in the phrase "a bonny lass". And you are a perfect 36 or whatever the European sizes are in your neck of the woods. : - )

Rushes to check the dictionary... Here we go:

bon·ny also bon·nie (bn)
adj. bon·ni·er, bon·ni·est Scots
1. Physically attractive or appealing; pretty.
2. Excellent.

Okay, so then I did also find one isolated reference to plump babies, but I swear I only knew the "fair/attractive/well" definitions!

bonny [ˈbɒnɪ]
adj -nier, -niest
1. Scot and northern English dialect beautiful or handsome a bonny lass
2. merry or lively a bonny family
3. good or fine a bonny house
4. (esp of babies) plump
5. Scot and northern English dialect considerable; to be reckoned with cost a bonny penny

Sorry for the confusion - but my choice of terminology was most definitely meant as a compliment. : - )

And I do love my food - I think I just forget about it. I forget about Mr Bonkers too when I am engrossed in absorbing activities, and fail to answer emails from months back, so other things/people get neglected too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was joking, but thank you for totally clearing up the exact definition of bonny! :)
Being engrossed in an activity to the point of forgetting to eat or other things, is a great thing in principle, its about finding the right balance, I think, so you don't waste away in front of our eyes... :)

Vanessa said...

Es geht weiter...

Vanessa said...

Hi Olfactoria,

Phew! For a moment there I thought something might genuinely have got lost in translation, with "bonny" being more of a regional word.

: - )

Unknown said...

How I wish I was the person who doesn't eat when they are stressed. I have quite the opposite problem. So a few bad months at work has me looking quite the dumpling this spring. I recommend a basket of Cadbury Easter creme eggs. They worked for me.

Vanessa said...

Hi kjanicki,

Thanks for the tip off about the creme eggs - it is that time again, after all. I'll give them a swirl!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Vanessa - Mr B is at the stage my OH used to be at, and it has only taken 21 years of dedicated perseverance to get OH to this level of domestic bliss (eye twitches uncontrollably).

Yes, OH had a phase of serving underdone pasta, and a period in which the smoke alarm signalled that things were getting a tad overdone in the oven, but, all in all, OH is a credit to my painstaking culinary training.

I share my philosophy freely: tell Man it's his turn to get into that kitchen and rattle them pots and pans. Doesn't matter that you've ensured that there is food there to prepare, or that you get a lot of pasta and pesto dinners at the start. It's the first step on a thousand-mile journey that counts!

(I bought in many different kinds of pasta and lots of different kinds of pesto, and that worked out for OH and me. He began adding grated cheese to mine or cooked meats to his, and Bob's your uncle! He found it easy and a bit creative too.)

Share the chore: your OH doesn't want you fading away anymore than we readers do.

take care, cheerio,

Anna in Edinburgh

PS "Bonny" is always a compliment, definitely.

"Speed Bonny boat, like a bird on the wing, over the seas to Skye"

Vanessa said...

Hi Anna,

I am impressed that you managed to press OH into culinary service in the end, and reassured that it took rather a long apprenticeship... With regard to Mr B, the words "tricks", "dog" and "old" spring to mind - as the mainstay of his ongoing excuses, indeed. I also have to contend with the "musician not wishing to cut his fingers" angle, which your OH may not share, or not to the same acute degree. Mr B will not use a cheese grater for example, and is even a bit lairy around tin openers.

Funnily enough, he never seems to have a problem with bottle openers...

Glad to have the confirmation of a native in respect of the nuances of "bonny". I was afraid we had might have had the makings of an international incident back there, but it was just a joke in the end! : - )

Anonymous said...

"Funnily enough, he never seems to have a problem with bottle openers..." Maybe liquid meals are the way forward, Vanessa? Some kind of healthy smoothie shake that requires rhythm and timing for the optimum mix?

Thinking of how the old comics and sci-fi programmes used to depict us 21st Century folk eating food made by robots whilst living on spaceships, perhaps you're ahead of the curve, just waiting for the right kinds of automation to make food prep less of a hassle for humans and more of a chore for androids?

Cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

Vanessa said...

Hi Anna,

Are you thinking of the Cadbury's Smash commercials by any chance? : - ) Liquid - or somewhat pappy - meals may indeed be the way forward...I'll try to big up the pioneering aspect of this style of cuisine and see if Mr Bonkers will buy it!