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I've been watching the 1976 BBC miniseries I, Claudius again over the last few days. I acquired the DVD some time ago but never got the chance to watch it, as almost as soon as I got it my sister asked to borrow it, and then took about 6 months to return it. 'Over 10 hours of history', it says on the box, and I guess by that they must mean 10 hours of television history, as of course neither the series nor the novels on which it is based purport to being a careful recounting of historical fact. But it's also part of my (and obviously, my sister's) personal history, too, as it's one of those shows that made an indelible impression on us when we were growing up. We first saw it in the original version in 1977, and a year later it was almost the only familiar thing during our stay in Spain, even if it was dubbed in Spanish.

Anyway, watching it again, it's amazing to see how well it's stood up to the test of time. The sets may have been made of marbled canvas and\or MDF and all the scenes may have been filmed indoors which makes the whole thing a bit claustrofobic; but the costumes and hairdos don't scream 70s at you the way earlier films like Cleopatra or Spartacus bear witness to the fashions of the 50s and 60s in which they were made. Jack Pulman's script stays very close to Robert Graves's novels and the acting is simply outstanding, so no wonder that even 30 years on I'm again falling under its spell.

Other than that, I don't really have any news to impart. I've been feeling a bit uninspired lately, as well as under the weather and unhappy with the way I've allowed myself to become bigger and bigger over the last couple of years and kidding myself that I was fine with that as it's what happens when you get older, isn't it? No, it isn't. That's just an excuse. And I'm right when I moan that it's not because I eat too much, because I don't; and exercise too little (well, maybe) but it's because I eat the wrong things. The realisation hit some time last week: most days, I skip breakfast, have a quick bite in the canteen around lunchtime if I can manage it, and because I'm usually late home, and I'm on my own, I don't cook for myself in the evenings. Instead, I'll have a takeaway or a TV dinner, or a sandwich. So most of what I eat is processed rubbish; no wonder I've gone up a size since October and no wonder I'm feeling tired all the time. Sure, I could go on a diet and lose some weight that way, but unless I change my whole lifestyle if you will, it's not going to do me any good in the long run. I will have to start eating regular meals at regular intervals, and some of those meals will have to be properly cooked, too...but by Jove! it's hard to turn these habits around. For instance, did you know that aduki beans need to soak for a minimum of 8 hours at least, and then take an additional 40 minutes to cook? And I don't even like beans very much!

Oh, and the Depeche Mode-cd's arrived, at last.


( 29 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Sep. 11th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
I, Claudius is *magnificent*. My favourite bits are the Brian Blessed going "IS THERE ANYONE HERE WHO HAS NOT SLEPT WITH MY DAUGHTER?"; "You look like a Greek Tragedy, my dear"/"YOU look like a Roman Farce"; "No more elephants..."; the whole of Zeus, By Jove and Claudius' speech as Emperor - "half witted I may be... but it appears that when it comes to wits, quality is more important than qua-quantity..."
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
I love the "Is there anyone here who has NOT slept with my daughter?"-scene so much, I played it back 5 times -- that and "Quinctilius Varus, WHERE ARE MY LEGIONS?" even if by now I know that Horace was long dead by the time Augustus received news of the defeat in the Teutoburg Forest.
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)

With you on the lifestyle change thing. Too many noodles lately.
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
Bad bogwitch! Noodles are bad for you - no more noodles for you! Or me...

I know they're easy and delicious, but we have to be strong and avoid them for the next six three months, say? I can do it if you can!
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
But... But I burn rice!

I need noodles! And my cupboard is full of them.
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Rice isn't good, either, or so they say. Especially the white rice that, coming from an Asian family, has been my staple food since childhood. I can't eat that macrobiotic rice; my Mum would disown me!
Sep. 11th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
I grew up on rice too. Actually the badness of rice is one of the reasons I switched to noodles. But if I can't have either of those, what the hell do I have? I need my starch!
Sep. 11th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
what the hell do I have?

You know, I'm stumped, too. They tell me I should lay off the bread and the noodles and the rice and the potatoes (which I seldom eat in the first place) and the whatever else there is, but then they don't tell me what I am supposed to replace them with! ;-)
Sep. 11th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Probably greens. Ugh.
Sep. 12th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Greens is it exactly. Greens and all sorts of nonstarchy veggies, and a bit of fruit.

Very very good for you (and was excellent for my health when I did it) but ... I hate eating my veggies. ::boohoos::

I'm there with you two - must give up the sugars & starches and start eating healthfully, and am pouting about it.
Sep. 12th, 2006 05:13 am (UTC)
Oh, I like greens. Most of them, anyway. Although it's true I haven't been eating enough of them lately. Hmmm. I may be able to do this after all.
Sep. 12th, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
Non-starchy vegatables are evil.
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
The weight/lifestyle thing is so hard. A diet helps you get started because you have to think about what you are putting in your mouth, but it so much more than just the food. We all sit on our bums all day, spend too much time commuting to and from work, and then don't have time for exercise or cooking real food.

I have finally managed to fit exercise into my schedule, but to do it I skip either breakfast or lunch (or both)...or I end up eating at my desk or while I am driving. I had lost 25 lbs earlier this year with dieting, but I've put about 1/2 of that back on now. There are just no easy solutions to it.
Sep. 11th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
The frustrating thing is that intellectually, I know what has to be done, but that mentally, I'm still a long way from accepting it. On the one hand, I want to go on a diet, in an effort to -as you say- build up a routine in eating regularly, but on the other, it just feels like it's too much hassle at the moment. Yet I can't go on the way I have, and my indecision is driving me nuts.

I have finally managed to fit exercise into my schedule

And I admire you for it. I've joined a gym a couple of times, but after the initial burst, I always gave up -- I just don't enjoy physical exercise at all, and I'm terribly accident-prone.

Dancing! Now dancing, I do enjoy -- but at the moment I feel far too fat and too old and too self-conscious to take up salsa lessons as a way to burn off the calories. I'm a hopeless case.
Sep. 11th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
That is the point I was at last year at this time. The thing that really did it for me was some pictures that were taken of me the past Christmas. I realize I will never have the body I did 10 years ago, but I also promised myself I would never let myself go like my mother had. As I try to always be the one holding the camera b/c I hate picutres of myself, there weren't many of me floating around. That was what I needed.

The thing is, I do enjoy physical exercise. But, my schedule is very similar to yours with not only the time at work, but hours spent going to and from. On top of that, I have a husband who thinks I am incredibly selfish if I do anything for me. When I joined the gym, I had to hide it from him for several months, which meant the only time I could go was during my lunch break. I have finally told him about it, and have since been able to arrange my schedule so that I go workout before I go to work. Right now I am mostly doing yoga and water aerobics...I get the benefit of exercise without sweating.

Dancing...I love dancing too. When I quit dancing is when I started putting on weight.
Sep. 11th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
One thing I do enjoy, exercise-wise, is walking. Now that my ankle is 90% healed, I could take that up again...And then, when I'm a little slimmer, I could try and go back to yoga class again, too. I really do miss my yoga...
Sep. 11th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
I've just recently started yoga, and I love it. It is such a great way to start the day...or end it.
Sep. 11th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
I saw bits of I, Claudius during a Classics course in my undergrad. I really enjoyed what I did see.

Lifestyle changes are tough. My roommate is going through some of the same realizations right now, and when you get home late and have no time during the day, it's very difficult to change your habits.
Sep. 11th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
If you ever get the chance to see more of I, Claudius, don't let it pass you by! Really, it's just one of the best productions made for TV ever. Or read I, Claudius and Claudius the God if you haven't done so yet; they're a truly riveting read and I can recommend them wholeheartedly. In fact, I re-read them quite often, and I've yet to grow tired of them.
Sep. 11th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
A year and a half ago we were mostly eating takeaway and I asked my Flist for advice as I wanted to cut down our spending on food as well as eat better. I got a couple of good pieces of advice which helped us enormously.

The main thing was to make it less work to cook real food than to go out and buy takeaway. So we order food from an online supermarket so that our fridge is always full of fresh and attractive-looking things to cook. I also got some cookbooks that gave simple, fast, tasty recipes (my repetoire was pretty minimal before then). These days the thought of going out for fish and chips is actually repellent (still get Asian takeaway sometimes).
Sep. 12th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, here in Holland, online supermarkets are still a thing of the future; there is one but it's expensive, not very good and will only deliver during office hours, so I'm afraid that's not much of an option for me. Besides, I don't mind going to the shops. It's just that when I come home around 8, I don't feel like spending any time in the kitchen cooking up a meal that I know I won't finish because of the lateness of the hour.

But I'm going to try. I will!
Sep. 12th, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
How about having a big cook up at the weekend and freezing loads of meals?
Sep. 12th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)
Haven't got a freezer...I mean, I have, only it hasn't worked in yonks. The only reason it's still there is that it's too heavy for me to lug outside.
Sep. 12th, 2006 02:23 am (UTC)
I still remember many scenes from I Claudius vividly. And wish I didn't. Way too disturbing. Excellent. But disturbing.
Sep. 12th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)
John Hurt. So scary! My sister and I never forgot how his character cured Gemellus's cough. We still joke about it when either of us has got a cold.
Sep. 12th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
aha the elusive CD! DM forgiven :)

best of luck on the lifestyley stuff - blimey .. never heard of aduki beans but I wouldn't have the patience for them! I try to eat good most of the time (says she with a mouthful of chocolate) but I have to rely on the gym membership (because of the chocolate)!

Tour stuff:

first and last *touch wood* Plan A failure :(!!

The Boy Least Likely To have, without explanation, postponed their Brum gig til January!! :( I'm soooo gutted!


Hows this for Sunday now..

Plan B

Flight and shopping as scheduled :)
when shopped and dropped
Bus/Train, whichever is running > Chez Lorna
with Coventry entertainment to be established thrown in?
then there is a coach direct to the airport?

and we could cancel the hotel in Brum.

Alternatively of course you might want to go straight to Plan C? - if you want to rejig your flights to go home a day early (I guess they'd do that for a fee?) - Completely up to you of course - Lorna is more than happy to have us - I checked *G*! - but don't want you to feel pushed into one way or other ...

or there's the staying in Brum plan - but without a show... *sniff* - not that keen myself!

Sep. 12th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
Go home a day earlier than planned? Are you deranged? ;-)

Though it is a pity TBLLT have cancelled/postponed...but shopping sounds good. Shopping always sounds good. And Coventry and Lorna? Sounds even better! Yayyyyy!!! We'll have a girlie get-together and who knows, there may even be something/someone good on in town somewhere? Ezio aren't gigging anywhere near, are they?
Sep. 13th, 2006 06:21 am (UTC)
hahaa swap you a bugger for a yay!!

I need to shop in Brum - I set foot there for the very first time on Saturday but not INSIDE a shop!

Alas and alack Ezio play nearby the week BEFORE tour - 29th Sept ... and we are going! :) But we will definitely come up with a cunning alternative :)!

Also.. I might be a BIT deranged ;)!!
Sep. 13th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
You're going to see Ezio again? Excellent! Have fun (not that there's any chance that you might not) -- I'm sure we'll be able to come up with an equally good alternative when we're all together.
( 29 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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