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Be your own superhero

7 Mar

A few weeks ago I did something crazy.

At Lucas’s Parents’ Evening, when I found out that they were going to be studying superheroes for a few weeks, I found myself volunteering to come in and talk to his class about my favourite superheroes.  (The children get to choose the topic–I believe they even vote to make it fair and democratic!–and then the teachers apply the topic to writing, numeracy and so forth.  So they do actually learn stuff.)  Anyway, I found myself watching with curious detachment from the back of my mind as my mouth utterly ran away with itself and I found myself enthusiastically volunteering to talk to two classes for 10 minutes each.

Now… I am shy.  I can be pulled out of my shell by someone who is bubbly and talkative and then I just seem to step up and get real chatty.  Conversely, when I am sitting with someone who isn’t very outgoing, then I tend to clam up and watch the tumbleweed roll by.  Also… public speaking?  Totally not my thing.  I remember having to run to the bathroom in high school before to throw up before making presentations.

And yet I volunteered?  Crazy like a fish.

After much head-scratching and ponderings on Facebook about what superheroes the average 5-year old would have heard of, I settled on talking about the Big Three: Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.  Mainly because I am a total DC fangirl, but also because they are super-recognisable.  Luckily the kids recognised them all, but were a little shaky on poor Wonder Woman.  (She really doesn’t have any all-ages titles or toys, poor girl.)

I tried to connect each hero to the school’s values and talked a bit about what they could learn from each hero and then got to the fun stuff… superpowers!  With much scrunching up of face for heat-vision, attempts to waggle ears for super-hearing and lots and lots of biceps being flexed to show me how strong they are.  It was loads of fun and the kids seemed to have a great time.  I still had a few minutes to spare so I took a few questions.  I think the best one was, “how do superheroes get their powers?”

A year ago I would never, ever have volunteered for something like this.  A few months ago I might have volunteered but I’d have worried myself sick beforehand.  Today?  I was relaxed and allowed myself to have lots of fun which I think made it more fun for the kids. I think the combination of weight loss and increased exercise has somehow allowed me to regain some of my lost confidence.  If I can do this after losing 38lb, then imagine what amazing feats I could accomplish after losing 50 or 100lb!  I’ll be leaping tall buildings with a single bound before you know it!  (Or cranking out proper push-ups!)  I am my own superhero.

(I am still enchanted by the little girl who told me that Superman’s powers come from his super-pants.  “They make him big and strong. And bouncy, too.”)

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Stonehenge and other diversions

2 Mar

It’s been a busy few days at Cauliflower Towers.  After going to the London Comic Super Show (more on that later), Dave dropped Lucas and I at home and then headed back to London to spend the week showing some friends around the city.  They’d come over for a “once in a lifetime” type trip, so he was happy to tag along and play tour guide.  From all accounts, they had an awesome time!  I am very, very jealous that they went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum and I will definitely be going there when I’m next in the smoke!

Yesterday our friends wanted to see some countryside before jetting off home, which we certainly have plenty of in England, so I picked them up at the train station and we went to Stonehenge and then to Bath.  I had forgotten just how bleak Salisbury Plain could be.  The wind was bitterly cold up there!  But Stonehenge was awesome, as it always is.  They now have an audio tour included in the ticket price, which is what I was listening to in the photo above, which is quite dramatic and along with the mist and the wind, it was quite an atmospheric trip.

By the time we got to Bath the sun had struggled out from behind the clouds and it was gloriously warm.  (The temperature swung from 5C at Stonehenge in the morning to 14C!)

I say this every time I’m there, but I really should spend more time in Bath.  It’s one of the prettiest cities around and would be great for a nice long walk…. There’s almost always an opera singer or two busking near the Abbey on sunny days, and I love the speciality shops…

And now, take a trip back in time to the LCSS!  It was awesome!  One of the best shows I’ve ever been to.  I think the organisers did a great job for their inaugural show.  We met up with some old friends and made some new ones, and I stood in several queues with determined Britishness and got sketches from three of my favourite artists.  Lucas dressed up as a Power Ranger and eventually decided that posing with other superheroes was quite fun.

Lucas with She-Hulk and Wolverine

Before the show started we went for a walk around Tower Hill and then across Tower Bridge for the first time.  Tower Bridge is hugely iconic to me.  I grew up on kid’s TV shows made by Thames Television, and I remember seeing the bridge on TV several times a day as a result.  I always get a bit tingly whenever I cross the Thames and going across Tower Bridge itself?  Awesome.  Such magnificent architecture and engineering.

Oh, and last, but by no means least, my amazing Batman sketch by Jock!

I’ve reached that age…

6 Feb

And on a completely different note… I can’t quite believe that Axl Rose is 50 today.    In my head he’s still young, heroin-thin, and hot.  (Do yourself a favour, and don’t google for any current pictures.  You’ll only upset yourself.)  Appetite For Destruction was the album of my teenage years and is still topping Most Influential album lists decades later.  Happy birthday, Axl!

Welcome to The Cauliflower Capers!

29 Jan

I’m Ang, and this is my “everything” blog.  I used to have a food-only blog but got a bit bored of talking about food and only food all the time.  I hope that The Cauliflower Capers will come to reflect all of my interests, not just food, not just dieting… everything.  I love to craft (knitting, crochet, decoupage, whatever catches my interest), read (love my Kindle), and I am very slowly getting interested in exercise.

Why cauliflower?

In October 2011 I made a major change to my diet and started eating Primally.  In a nutshell, this means that I no longer eat grains (including rice and corn), sugar, processed foods and so forth. If you want to learn more, then check out Mark’s Daily Apple to get started.

As a substitute for rice, pasta, couscous and so forth, I found myself eating an astonishing amount of cauliflower.  I’d never given much thought to cauliflower before, other than to occasionally enjoy cauliflower cheese and push florets of soggy, overcooked cauliflower around my plate, but now I love it.  Cauliflower mash with stickily fried sausages (no rusk, please!), cauliflower ‘rice’ pilaf with Moroccan meatballs. cauliflower pizza bases.  It is endlessly versatile!  Some people even make rice puddings with it!  Aside from it being a very handy carb substitute, it is incredibly good for you and high in vitamin C.

(If anyone’s wondering how Primal eating is working out for me… I’ve lost 31lb since October 2011.  This is pretty amazing for me as I am on a huge dose of corticosteroids and have always struggled to lose any weight.)

So… welcome!