Lent Boy 2018: How Did I Do?

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Lent is over for me!

WARNING! Please read responsibly. This Blog contains large amounts of smugness!

So, that’s my ‘Lent thing’ over for 2018. What began in 2010 as a small challenge, has now grown into a much bigger event!

Some of you have asked how I got on, so here’s a short summary. Thanks to all my friends and family – and especially Ann – who helped me out during the period with modified menus and words of encouragement. Manoeuvring around my restrictions must have been a right royal pain in the a***, and I appreciate all the support!

As usual, I began the challenge on the first day of Lent this year – Valentine’s Day – and finished at midnight on Thursday, 29th March (yesterday). Technically, I know, for some, that’s not the complete period of Lent, but it was long enough for me! I also didn’t take Sundays off (many have commented that even official ‘Lentees’ allow this) but where’s the challenge with that?
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This year, there were 48 items to try and steer clear of – nothing special about the list, except they are all my favourites, but I’m now running out of ‘faves’ to add – I’ve included ‘Semi-skimmed Milk’, and ‘Salad Cream’ for this year (mainly because in years-gone-by, I seem to get through a lot of both!)

Lent List 2018

As expected, I lost a bit of weight too! I was 13st 13lbs (195 lbs, 88.6 kilos) when I started, and I was down to 13st 1lbs (183 lbs, 83.2 kilos) when I finished. I think that’s a record for me so far with these ‘Lent events’.

So, I’ve lost some ballast, but it’s the ‘will-power’ thing that’s been the real test for me. As in previous years, the toughest time was at the beginning, where I certainly had more than one attack of the ‘munchies’ between meals. Things got better as the days went on though!

If you’re wondering, out of everything on the list, I think I missed Curry and Chocolate the most!

As has been the ‘tradition’ since I began doing this, I always try and add a few items each year to make things a bit more challenging for next period of Lent – and 2019 will be no different. Although I will say, this is becoming increasingly hard to do, as I’m running out of ‘faves’ to add! So, for the last time, I’m adding just two more for the coming year and in future years, I’ll stick with (just) a total of 50.

Lent 2019 List

Now it’s back to the Pies (no, not really!, but I am looking out for a chocolate curry at the next opportunity!)
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Thanks for reading.

Archive: Previous Lent Lists
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017

Passport to ?

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It was a day-out with a difference today, with our good friends, David and Valerie. The location was known only to them, and all we were told was: “Be ready for 8am, wear outdoor clothes and bring your Wellingtons. Oh.. and your passports”. The reason? to celebrate Ann’s Birthday and mine (well in advance). Lovely thought!

So, initially, we didn’t know where we were heading – it was all part of the Birthday surprise!

And right on cue, after yesterday’s rather gorgeous (but cold) day, we woke to rain, rain and more rain… and it was the freezing-cold type too!

Oh joy!
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David did the driving – almost a three hour jaunt – as we arrived at Highgrove, home of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. By the time we got there, the weather had brightened-up a bit, but not much. Security was tight, very tight – hence the need for our passports and it also including the complete banning of any recording equipment – so no photos!
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David and Valerie had booked one of Highgrove’s last ‘Spring Garden Tours’. We slipped into scruffy-shoes to take-on the mud and puddles and headed for The Orchard entrance.

No Pictures!
Highgrove House

After a brief wait (with just time for a cuppa), we assembled in the meeting area before being introduced to our Guide for the 75-minute tour around – Robert. By now, the weather turned in our favour and the rain stopped with a brief appearance of the Sun.

No Pictures!
Imaginative Garden Design (even in March!)


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Robert kept us entertained and educated throughout our tour in a (sometimes) gushing but authoritative way. At this time of year, it was less about colour in the garden, but instead, we were treated to some very imaginative use of wood and bark. Ninety minutes later, it was all over and we had a quick look round the shop before heading back to the car in the direction of Tetbury, where D and V had thoughtfully booked a table for lunch.



And our table-of-choice was the The Ormond at Tetbury – a smallish Cotswold Coaching Inn. It punched well above its weight in terms of its service and food offering – consequently, we left there feeling very satisfied with our Lunch experience!


The journey home wasn’t quite so smooth as going, as we caught a bit of the daily commute (I think we’ve all forgotten how ‘normal’ this used to be in our work-days!! We finally arrived home just after 6pm.

In spite of the below-par weather, we had a great time today with David and Valerie (although it was a pity I couldn’t capture some of the beauty of Highgrove in pictures.

Another memorable day-out. Thanks David and Valerie for your generosity!
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Monday & Tuesday Classes

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We’re taking a break! See below for re-start dates…

– Monday Laptop Class: 23rd April 2018 @9.30am
– Tuesday Laptop Class: 24th April @9.30am
– Tuesday Tablet Class: 24th April @ 1pm

Laptop Coaching: The Action Centre

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Today, we discussed the information shown in Windows 10 ‘Action Centre’.

Gambles Reunited for Ann’s Birthday Celebrations

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Birthday Girl!
Well, I think that’s a first (not sure why though!) – the Gambles family reunited here for Ann’s Birthday!!
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Denis, Roger, Jane, Oliver and Bev batting for the Gambles, whilst Lee and I were in the other corner!


A little like that odd tradition where the person whose birthday it is, provides cakes, Ann provided – and cooked – the menu!

Moroccan Lamb…
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…or Cottage Pie (a healthier variant with a Sweet Potato topping)…
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…followed by Low Fat/Low Sugar Black Forest Cherry Trifle…
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…or Apple & Pear Strudel… (sorry, no photograph, as I was too busy tucking into the Trifle (carefully avoiding the ‘Lent-threatening’ chocolate)…

We finished it all off with a Cheese Board.

There’s was plenty of time for a good chat with everyone including a thorough look through Oliver’s increasingly impressive school-work (Engineering, Physics, Biology and Maths). Denis also continued his mass de-cluttering exercise by bringing with him a wide selection of this-and-that from his Garage.
Confused smile

By 4ish, it was all over, so we said our goodbyes and cleared up.

After taking Lee home, and returning, Trish dropped-by with Ann’s pressy, closely followed by Rosi. Phew!It’s been a busy day – but ‘good’ busy!!
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Happy Birthday Ann!

Tablet Coaching: The Play Store

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Today we discussed how to gain access to, and get the most from, the Google Play Store.

Laptop Coaching: One-to-Ones

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Today we concentrated non one-to-one activities, helping those who had specific issues with their Laptop.