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Day 737 – Men Who Kill Their Wives

I haven’t written in a while.

I’m not entirely sure why.

Perhaps because I haven’t felt the need to lay bare all my innermost thoughts.

Perhaps because life has just been ticking on.

I don’t know why.

Today however, I feel compelled to write by the news that the partner of the writer Helen Bailey has been found guilty of her murder. This news has shocked me to the core and it is so very sad that this lady, who thought she had found her happy ending, after the 2011 death of her husband while they were on holiday in Barbados, will be so tragically killed by the widower she had met through her grief, for what seems to be for financial gain.

I read Helen’s story thinking, there but for the grace of God go I…

there-goes-i

Last week, I finally watched a TV drama I had recorded last year, called the Secret.

This is based on the true story of the deeply religious Irish dentist, Colin Howell, who in 1991, together with the married woman he was having an affair with, Hazel Stewart, another church member, conspired to kill both of their spouses, his wife Lesley, and mother of his four children, including a nine month old baby, and Trevor, the father of his lover’s two children, a boy and a girl.

They believed killing their spouses would allow them to live happily ever after.

They were wrong.

Colin and Hazel literally got away with murder as the police and coroners bought into their faked joint suicides for their spouses. Their sordid affair lasted a couple more years, before being ended by his lover. Such was her guilt after the deaths, that they would even have consensual sex with her gassed on his dentist’s chair, so that he could have his way with her, without her being consumed with guilt.

10 years after the murders, this dentist, confessed to his second wife, a mother of two, with whom he went on to have five more children, about the murders. She chose to keep quiet and went on to have four more children with this murderer, to add to the one child they had together at the time.

Nearly 20 years after the murders, Colin voluntarily confessed to the police after believing that God was punishing him following the death of his first son Matt, and being swindled out of around £350,000. He had previously had “signs” that had convinced him that God had forgiven him for the murders.

He had admitted being haunted by his wife calling the name of 5 year old Matt as he strangled her.

He also voluntarily confessed to sexually assaulting several patients while they were under anaesthetics.

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murders.

But for his confessions, these murders would never have been discovered.

His lover Hazel who pleaded not guilty, was later found guilty of both murders and sentenced to 18 years.

His second wife who had chosen to keep quiet about her murderous husband, escaped prosecution. She moved back to the US, where she was originally from.

Some men kill.

Some men kill their wives. 

Women kill too.

And while I admit that this post might seem like possibly the biggest admission that I have made in this blog, I firmly believe that I could easily have joined the statistics of the many women (and men) who have been killed by their supposedly loving spouses or partners, who found the idea of murder, more palatable than divorce or merely ending a relationship.

As my marriage disintegrated in 2015, my ex husband would make countless comments about killing me.

I was distressed by these comments and he would say he was merely “joking”.

He said on three occasions that it was a shame I was on a diet as he was no longer cooking for me and therefore, could not poison me.

At the last minute, he changed travel plans on our last holiday over Easter 2015 to Milan, supposedly to work on our marriage when unbeknown to me, he was sending his lover £70 flowers and expensive chocolates. He chose to drive to the airport, instead of taking a taxi, and when I queried why, given as we would always take taxis to airports, he referred to a story about a man who had killed his wife by carefully crashing their car, having removed her seatbelt, just beforehand. He insisted he was joking.

His several “jokes” about killing me and how my death would be easier than divorce, were such that before travelling to Milan, I had written a long email to my sister referencing all his comments and the dates they were made, and giving her our travel details, something I had never done before. I wrote that if anything happened to me in Milan, she should hand my email over to the police.

I had felt very unsafe with this man and I was resolved, like I said in that email, that after Milan, I would have to decide whether my marriage was worth saving given all the “jokes” about my death.

The seriousness of my email to my sister was such that she expected me to be checking in with my family frequently, during that trip. On one occasion when she hadn’t heard from me for a few hours, because I was out and about and didn’t have internet or whatsapp access, she had been worried enough to have rung my hotel several times, leaving messages for me to make urgent contact, as well as shared her concerns with another sister.

In Milan, my ex husband would “joke” about pushing me from the top of the Duomo Cathedral. He refused to climb to the top on his own, when I was unable to explore with him which was unusual as he wouldn’t normally object to exploring on his own.

Perhaps more telling was the one night in Milan, when I was violently sick all night, throwing up and with serious diarrhoea, while my ex husband slept very peacefully beside me. This happened the only time I had eaten or drunk anything bought solely by my ex in my absence. That night, he had brought some latte back to the hotel for both of us and yet, I was the only one who had been so violently ill.

I have no doubt whatsoever that my ex had tried to poison me on that day.

As our marriage crumbled during that holiday, my ex insisted on taking me out shopping, going from street to street, all very carefully mapped out by him.

It was a most bizarre day when he insisted on buying anything I as much as looked at. Several handbags including an expensive Prada bag, several sandals and shoes including Jimmy Choo shoes, expensive Jo Malone perfumes, expensive Acqua di Parma toiletries and all sorts of unneeded vulgar spending.

I have no doubt whatsoever as I took photos of the ridiculous shopping bags through my tears, that these were my ex’s defence of how could I have killed my wife? I love my wife. Can’t you see all the things that I bought her?

Four days after our return from Milan, on a Sunday, my ex insisted that Sunday morning on visiting the seaside, instead of a hike he had planned. He “joked” several times about pushing me from the pier into the sea to drown given that I can’t really swim.

After he left our former home, I would find a knife inside my ex husband’s drawer on his side of the beside table, of the bed we slept together.

When I asked him what a knife was doing inside his bedside table, and sent him a picture of the knife, he lied and insisted that he had never had a knife in the drawer that he used exclusively at the time.

This is a long post with all sorts of serious comments but my aim isn’t to depress myself and all my readers.

I describe my ex husband as “evil”. That ugly word is not a word I use lightly.

I do not believe that this man has always been “evil”.

I still believe that he went through and might still be going through, some sort of mental breakdown.

But the person who I strongly believed wanted to kill me and who did all the heartbreaking things during our divorce is an “evil” man capable of anything, including cold blooded murder.

I am not without blame as I should have gotten him out of my life the very first time he “joked” about killing me, let alone the countless references and the seemingly well thought out scenariors he painted, as to how he might have killed me.

I should have reported his comments immediately to the police.

I should have immediately gone to the police and been tested on return to the UK or even in Milan, on the night I firmly believe he tried to poison me.

But to be fair to myself, at the time, I was not aware of the lengths this man could go through, or just how evil, he truly is/was.

When I read these stories of men and women, who haven’t survived being murdered by their nearest, closest and most trusted spouses, I thank God that I came out of my marriage with my life.

I thank God that my mum and siblings do not have to spend their lives mourning me and wondering whether my death was really an accident, as described, or murder.

I thank God for the gift of life.

May Helen and all the men and women like her, murdered by their spouses and partners, rest in perfect peace.

This is still a diet blog, and as such, I should really write about my diet.

This year has been full of ups and downs on the diet front but right now, I am on it. I’m not stressing about the fact that I wasn’t on it last week.

I fail, I restart and I keep going.

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Day 623 – Thank You to Good Friends…We Are Yet to Meet.

I don’t care if it takes me a trillion days, a billion fails and a million restarts.

I owe it to myself and to every single person who reads this blog and who cares about my journey, to keep chipping away at my fat, until I reach goal.

So….I’m back on the diet wagon.

I want to say a massive thank you to all of you who have followed my journey and those of you who have become my friends on Facebook through this blog, and who have extended a real and genuine hand of friendship.

thank you

Although we have not met face to face…yet, your friendship and support are tremendously important and hugely appreciated by me.

Let’s face it, you know my innermost thoughts, which 99% of people closest to me in the “real world”, whatever that is, are not privy to. 

You are all very important to me as real and virtual lives merge in our world.

The comment below on my Facebook following my last post, from an incredible lady who I have not met…yet, but who I greatly admire and very much care about, like I do my closest “real life” friends, moved me more than I can express.

And so, I say, thank you.

“You are so brave! What a journey you’ve been on! I remember a year ago telling you it would get easier….and I stand by that….it does, but I too, after 8 years of being divorced received a letter from my ex last week…and it still hurts. In my experience the pain dulls, but it never leaves entirely.

But that discomfort mustn’t stop you moving forward with your life and pursuing your own happiness every moment of every day!

This may not be the outcome you’d have chosen but it is a new page, a clean sheet for you to put your mark on, and knowing you lovely one, it’ll be beautiful!!! Big Love xxxx”

4

Day 610 – From the mouth of babes….

Yesterday, I spent nearly 5 hours in the company of two delightful boys, one is 7 and the other is 5.

We baked shortbread biscuits and a two layered vanilla birthday cake, with buttercup frosting, complete with birthday messages and candles, after which we invited their parents and 5 month old brother to join our little tea party.

I did not even have a teeny weeny piece of cake.

This is a first.

Ever.

There is hope for me yet.

birthday-cake

At one point, the 5 year old declared that I was his best “Belle.” His mum tells me this is the height of his compliments.

At another point, he said:

“Mummy said you’re separated from your husband and you are no longer friends. You have two new friends, X and Y.” He proclaimed, naming his brother and himself.

That comment nearly moved me to tears. I gave both of them a high five, a kiss and a cuddle.

He also declared that I had the nicest kitchen in the whole wide world.

mouth-of-babes

Isn’t it just amazing how kids can make everything seem so easy and uncomplicated?

not-complicated

Since the last time that I wrote, the transfer of equity of my beautiful home into my sole name has completed. I looked at the title deed with my full name on it, with tears of joy, so much pride and immense gratitude that I have come out of my nightmare with a clean break and with my home as mine.

Just over a week ago, I finally deleted my ex ‘s phone numbers and that of his mum and sister from my contact list. The time was right and it felt good to have that firm closure.

But…things are not completely over.

My ex is still continuing with his ridiculous and crazy stance of taking me to court to fight over a previously jointly used mac computer which is over three years old and which I have been using alone since he left in April 2015.

The fact that this man is going ahead with this utterly ridiculous case tells me that his madness has not waned. His ludicrous barrister, with over 20 years experience, had demanded half a day of a busy Central London court, the busiest family court in the country, to talk shit about this computer.

The court has allocated 5 minutes instead of the demanded half a day.

Oh and for this laughable case, we are both required to prepare like a real case, exchange witness statements, evidence and all sorts.

I have been told to be prepared to be totally lambasted by an angry judge for this stupid matter coming to court but so be it. 

I look forward to a fun trip to Central London after which I will meet a friend for dinner and have a laugh.

crazy

In other news, I am still doing well in my diet.

I am also using my gym and in the last couple of weeks, have decided to weigh once a week instead of my previous obsession of weighing two or three times daily.

2

Week One, Day 572 – My Journey…Is Right on Time

A planned day off my diet, ended up being a week off my diet.

And so, on Saturday, I had yet another restart and so far, I’ve been 100% on my diet.

I am beginning to worry whether I will fail in this diet quest.

I obviously do not want to fail.

I am currently at a weight that is comfortable for me and I have never really managed to get below this sort of weight in any diet that I have been on.

Ever.

I have been on a quest to lose weight since age 9. I am 43 years old. 34 years of excessive fat is a long history to overcome. Even if I think of my weight struggles as an adult, since the age of 18, that means 25 years old of history. That’s a lot of years.

It is easy to give up.

It is easy to say that I have failed at every attempt to get to a healthy weight all my life and why should this time and this diet be any different.

It is easy to say that my history is very much against me.

It is easy to accept that maybe I’m just not meant to ever be a size 6.

It is easy to let the negativity get to me.

But self-love is about telling yourself the truth and being brutally honest with yourself.

Self-love is about admitting that there are all sorts of plans I have for my future that will never happen if I remain obese.

Self-love is about being the best version of myself that I can be.

Self-love is about reminding myself that I have survived 17 months of pure hell. That girl that thought that she didn’t want to live because her marriage ended, that girl who would cry herself to sleep over the heartbreak of the end of her marriage, survived that pure hell.

If I can survive 17 months of pure hell, surely I can control what goes from my hands to my mouth and therefore whether I remain obese forever or have a better life at a healthy weight.

I am channelling the me that  achieved ambitions way beyond all limitations even when I’m told by those who should know better to lower my expectations and ambitions.

I am channelling the me that achieved first class honours degree, distinction in post graduate studies, who won every single academic prize available and ended up  working in one of the top companies in the world in my professional field, before illness caused me to stop work.

own-hero

I am channelling the me that has a can do attitude that means that no is never the answer and who uses intelligence and creativity to create solutions for every problem that presents itself.

I am channelling the me that may have been dealt with a few bad hands by fate but is still standing and still finds reasons to smile.

I know the me above is still very much around, because that person is the only reason I could have survived my 17 months of hell.

That person can get to the end of this weight loss quest.

And so, I pledge that I do not care how often I fall down on this quest to break a weight problem of a lifetime, I will get up whenever I fail and I will carry on.

mirror-mirror

I do not care that every body else on the internet is losing all their excess weight in a few short months and my journey is taking forever. We are all different and we all have our own lives and quests to overcome.

This is my journey and it will take as long as it takes.

I do not care that my body doesn’t lose as much weight as everyone seem to do on the Cambridge diet, I will keep going.

I do not care that my body frustrates the hell out of me by often ceasing to lose weight when I am doing everything right, I will keep going until I reach my destination.

now-is-right-on-time

And so, here I am again, promising myself and everyone who has followed my weight loss quest that I will keep going until I hit a healthy weight or at least a weight that I have never achieved before given that I have no idea whether an NHS prescribed BMI friendly weight would look good on this 43 year old who has never been a healthy weight.

I am on yet another self-imposed 28 days challenge to lose a stone. The plan is to stay strictly on my diet except for one meal when a very good friend is taking me out to a very fancy restaurant for lunch. Yes, there is something like a free lunch…

And yes, it will be one lunch that will not be 100% on plan, but this time, it will stop at only one meal and not one week.

Week One, Day 572’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.1 kg, week’s weight loss 3.6 kg (7.9 pounds); total weight loss;  33.7 kg; 74.1 pounds; 5 stones 4 pounds

 

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Day 507 – Variety is the Spice of Life

Today is Day 15 of my 21 day challenge to stay 100% on my diet and I am thrilled to report that I have managed to stay on track every single day of the challenge.

Daily weight fluctuations meant a slight weight increase (o.3kg) today but I’m not overly concerned as I was 100% yesterday and the increase might have been spiked by unexpected hard exercising yesterday – I was late for an appointment and so I basically sprinted My body doesn’t like hard intensity.

Anyways, as of yesterday, I ha”d lost 5.9 kg in 13 days.

I have been experimenting with different foods. I tried to create a recipe for cauliflower cake, looked great, horrible texture and straight into the bin…

More successful is my black eyed beans savoury cake which I have made steamed or baked. This feels like a treat and not a diet.

Ingredients

80g black eyed beans – dried weight – soak for at least three hours

16 g of onions

Salt

Black pepper

Ground dried crayfish or prawns (optional)

1 boiled egg (optional)

Ground nutmeg

Spray light coconut oil spray

Cayenne pepper (a little)

Scotch bonnet pepper (a little) 

Seasoning cube of your choice. I use 1 teaspoon of Cambridge golden vegetable seasoning

 

Method

  1. Soak the black eyed beans for at least 3 hours or overnight if you can.
  2. Hard boil one egg. *Note for Step 2 Cambridge, the egg means excess of the protein allowance. Fine for Step 3.
  3. Cover the beans with water to cover the beans and add the beans and water to a blender and blend for about 3 minutes.
  4. To the beans mixture in the blender, add the onions, crayfish (optional), black pepper, cayenne pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, nutmeg, seasoning cube, and sprays of coconut oil.
  5. Blend all for another 3 minutes.
  6. Taste for salt. If you can taste salt, you’ve used too much. Add a little salt, if necessary. Remember you already have stock seasoning.
  7. Blend for another 1 minute and transfer to container.
  8. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into containers, adding sliced eggs on top.
  9. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes depending on consistency of the mixture and depth of baking container.
  10. Use a toothpick to check if cooked. It should be dry when you get the toothpick out.
  11. Alternatively, place covered foil container in a steamer for 30 minutes. If steaming, ensure the water is boiling before you place the container to the steaming pot.\\\
  12. Enjoy\
1

Day 499 -Am I Bothered? Me? Bothered?

My mantra for the week: I can’t be bothered to stress about things outside my control.

I got very passionate about my belief that the UK should REMAIN in the EU.

I did my bit by contributing to discussions, dragging myself to the polling station on a day that I was in such agony with back pain, I could hardly, sit, stand, let alone function. I even nagged my friends and family to get out and vote.

The nation voted OUT.

The prime minister has resigned, the labour party is in turmoil.

That seemingly impossible nightmare of an alternate universe where Boris Johnson is prime minister and Donald Trump president could be a stark reality.

Share prices have gone crazy. The pound has hit a low.

Hate crimes have increased because some arseholes now think the vote means that racism and xenophobia have been vindicated and can now be openly celebrated. Britain first power to the traitors, to quote the scumbag that killed Jo Cox MP.

But thank fuck the chancellor hasn’t abandoned ship.  

Like some who cannot quite believe that common sense has not prevailed, I joined the nearly 4 million that have signed a petition calling on a second referendum. I write to my MP pointing out that my London borough voted remain. I follow statements from the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, hoping that maybe, just maybe, Scotland’s MPs may block Brexit. I look with scorn at Boris’ shock at the vote and his pathetic comments yesterday as the financial market went crazy that everything had miraculously settled. I look at even more disgust at the revolting Farage’s fuck you performance at today’s the EU meeting. My God, this prick is even worse than I thought.

I’m not in denial because I have accepted the fact that the majority have spoken and the UK will exit the EU. Everything else is probably an exercise in futility. But maybe, just maybe…

Whatever happens to our beloved country and the financial consequences that I might face as a result of Brexit, is outside my control.

I can’t be bothered to stress about things outside my control.

In other news, the divorce saga continues. April’s court was postponed because my ex didn’t comply with some court mandated documents in February and his excuse was similar to that old favourite – the dog ate my homework. There is yet another risk of July’s court being postponed because he has once again failed to return some documents he was being chased since early May. My lawyer will get final confirmation this week whether the July hearing will need to be postponed yet again. I hope that it doesn’t get postponed but I am resigned that this nightmare ends when it ends.

Whatever happens is outside my control. I can’t be bothered to stress about things outside my control.

am i bothered

What I am bothered about is losing weight and getting fit. That much is within my control.

I have set myself a challenge of 21 days of staying on my diet 100% after some bad days when I ate crap for four days.

I am on day 6 of 21 and I have done 6 days of being on my diet 100%.

If I can do 21 days, I can do another 21 days regardless of whether I am in court in July or whatever turmoil is happening in my life.

If I can stay on my diet for 3 months without fucking it up yet again, I can lose 2 stones.

If I can do 3 months, I can do another 3 months.

If I stay 100% focused, I could reach goal or be very near to it by Christmas.

Now that is something I can control.

I have full control of my hand and full control of my mouth. The movement from hand to mouth is within my control. I am not being controlled by some robot.

from-hand-to-mouth-pavlobaron-1-728

Eating when I am stressed or depressed continues the vicious cycle of obesity.

It is time to finally break that cycle.

vicious_circle

Now that’s something worth being bothered about.

 

 

1

Day 484 -My Dinners Rock: Lentil & Chicken Curry with Cauliflower Mash

Day 8 of staying 100% on my diet. Last week, I worked out 3 days, aiming for the same this week.

My workout today was basically 10 minutes easy ride on a recliner bike, 10 mins easy cycle on TechnoGym’s Top XT which is basically like cycling with your arms, and using 2.5lbs dumbbell and yoga band, I did three exercises that work the biceps and triceps, doing 30 repetitions of each exercise.

At the end of my work out, I had an egg. Given that I am on a low calorie diet, I am not going mad in the gym.

Another magnificent low carb, low fat and low calorie dinner suitable for Step 2 of the Cambridge Diet or any diet or just healthy eating.

This time lentil and chicken curry with cauliflower mash. This tasted like restaurant quality food and I couldn’t believe I can eat food this amazing on a diet.

Yep, I made chicken and lentil curry without typical ingredients like yogurt, tomatoes and oil and it still tasted amazingly fabulous.

Curry 3 June 2016

The cauliflower mash came about from a disastrous blending of cauliflower – I couldn’t be bothered to grate into rice size and used the wrong blender which required water. I got a milky consistency which I added a little garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and decided to experiment – the result was sumptuous.

Not the best picture of the cauliflower but it hopefully shows the milky consistency I started with…

Note to self: check photos on your crappy phone!

Cauliflower June 2016

For the Cauliflower mash

Blend 80g of cauliflower with water to get a milky consistency.

Season with a little garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne chilli or whatever you like

Spray pan with coconut one calorie spray and simmer for about 10 minutes

Transfer the pan to oven pre-heated to 220C and cook for another 10 minutes or until slightly brown.

Serve with fresh basil

Curry 1 June 2016

For the lentil and chicken curry.

Ingredients

40g red lentil – dried weight

125g of chicken

Tumeric

Cumin

Ground corriander

Paprika

Curry powder

Garam masala

Garlic salt

Fresh garlic

Fresh ginger

A little low salt vegetable stock

Two teaspoons of milk

Coconut light spray

Method

  1. Boil red lentil briskly for 10 minutes and then simmer for another 10 minutes. Set aside
  2. Combine the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, paprika, garlic salt, curry powder, garam masala with tea spoons of milk to make a curry paste. Set aside.
  3. Cube the chicken, chop garlic, ginger and using a little bit of the curry paste, marinate the chicken with garlic, ginger and a little paste. Leave in the fridge for an hour or until you want to cook.
  4. Pan fry the chicken with the garlic, ginger, and remaining paste turning once browned.I made sure my chicken is cooked before starting the next step. You can’t be too careful with chicken.
  5. Dissolve a little low salt stock in warm water and add the stock to the chicken, simmer for 10 minutes, checking and adding more water if required.

 

Curry 2 June 2016

6. Add the cooked lentil to the chicken mix. Combine properly and simmer for another 10 minutes adding water if required.

7. Serve with fresh basil.

Verdict: I cannot begin to explain how super yummy this was. Smacks lips.

Curry 4 June 2016