Archive for the ‘Podge’ Category

Hamburg for the New Year

Guess what? Podge (His Podgeness) & Tubbs (The Duchess) went on yet another cruise. Ok, it was only for five nights but this was to see in the New Year (2023) somewhere other than sat in front of the box watching whatever was broadcast. And you know what, they’ll most likely do it again. P&O once again did them proud and put on an excellent itinerary with a wide variety of daily activities, if one wished. They didn’t! They knew what they like and that’s to be on yet another P&O Cruise Ship knowing that they will be taken care of and they can just relax and enjoy themselves.

The first day was a sea day and the captain did come on the tannoy to say that that there may be some movement as the weather was expected to move to Force 8 but after battling Hurricane [feisty] Fiona in September when they crossed to Canada on the Aurora, a Force 8 was nothing to Podge & Tubbs 🙂

When reaching Hamburg they did secretly hope (well, Tubbs did) that the Christmas Market would still be open but they weren’t so [they] enjoyed themselves in the only way that [they] can enjoy themselves, by window shopping and checking out the sights after which they returned to the ship to prepare for the New Year Festivities, which did include drinking (possibly) a little too much and eating way too much, all of which was thoroughly enjoyed.

While preparing for Dinner, Podge decided to go out onto the balcony, oh yes, they had a balcony you know, to see if anything was happening in town and yep, sure enough, there was. Which ever direction Podge looked, fireworks were going off and it was only 7pm. Blimey he thought, what’s it going to be like a midnight?

Dinner came, dinner was eaten (another scrumptious meal from P&O) after dinner drinks were consumed then it was up to the Crows next for another drink and another and another as they watched from their vantage point waiting for the midnight hour to arrive. In the meantime, the fireworks in and about that Hamburg skyline continued unabated. It wasn’t a formal display but wow they really were amazing. Then, at 00:00 everybody cheered, hugged and kissed each other, had another drink, sang Auld Lang Syne and watched as the Hamburg skyline erupted. Just how many firework did the residents of Hamburg have! They went on, they went up, they cascaded, they exploded in the night sky, they danced a myriad of colourful dances in the sky and, they just didn’t stop. By 01:00, poor Podge and Tubbs were feeling a wee bit tired and returned to their cabin. Podge went back out onto ‘The Balcony’ and those fireworks were still going off. But having downed yet another glass of lovely warming Scotch (what else for New Year) he finally retired to bed at 02:00 and yes, the fireworks were still going but slowing.

The next day was a sea day as they made their way to Zeebrugge the gateway to Bruges. Very quickly it became obvious that the 1st January 2023 was to be formally known as a Duvet Day and they both just shut up shop and stayed in the cabin feeling quite sorry for themselves – Poor Podge; Poor Tubbs.

The following day found them in Zeebrugge and after a relaxing breakfast (Podge & Tubbs had been to Bruges before so were in no hurry) they eventually made the bus into town where the local chocolates were checked out and sourced, lunch was partaken with some, probably more than was necessary, local beers. Hunger sated, thirst sated, the time to return to the last bus was nigh and they had to ‘find their way back’ but no worry as there was plenty of time: Or was there? Tubbs was determined to source some Macaroons and finding a shop to her taste she made her eventual purchase. The way back to the bus was under way once more but the time was ticking. This is where it good weird.

There had been no discussion on the purchase of shoes yet Tubbs seemed to [need] to go into ‘interesting looking’ shops all to no avail: Then however, she spotted a Pikolinos store. Now, while Podge has some of their shoes, Tubbs hadn’t and had never expressed an interest in them but, here before her was a Pikolinos store all nice and bright and shiny with lots of shoes – Tubbs had to enter. Podge checked his watch in a manner that Tubbs couldn’t help but spot but, undeterred, she scanned the whole shop, spotted a pair of boots and declared ‘Those, I [must] have a pair of those’. And so it came to pass that Tubbs had yet another pair of shoes/boots. And still the clock ticked: Podge knew the clock was ticking because he once again checked his watch in a manner that told Tubbs, ‘ No More Shops’.

Podge & Tubbs did make the bus, using Goggle they headed towards the dropped pin that Podge had so cleverly marked on Google maps when they got off the bus. They weren’t however the last but they were very close. But no worries, Podge and Tubbs had a lovely day in Bruges, Tubbs had some lovely purchases and all in all, both had had a lovely short New Year Break. All that was required was to return to the cabin and pack ready for disembarkation in Southampton in the morning. Were they glum at the thought of the break coming to an end? Of course not, it was just 54 sleeps to their next adventure.

Navigare Necesse Est.


Well, 2020 wasn’t the kind of year anybody had been expecting was it. Just like most people, Me and Mrs Me, had so many plans for 2020. Just like most people, hardly any of the plans came to fruition: I particular the two cruises we had booked, one in March, from the Caribbean back to the UK (a repeat of the March 2019 cruise) and one in August to the Fiords. We also had another cruise in March 2021, from the Caribbean back to the UK. One by one, the cruises were cancelled due to Covid. Hopefully, we’ll get back normal in 2021 / 2022.

There was however somewhat of an upside to this new way of ‘life under Covid’ whereby Me and Mrs Me discovered a website for virtual walks and rides. Using this facility (myvirtualmission.com) we were able to complete two virtual walks, Hadrian’s Wall and the Inca Trail, without travelling outside of the boundaries of Sleepy Hungerford. In addition, I (His Podgeness) was able to cycle, again in a virtual world, Lands End to John O’Groats and The great Ocean Road. In total, Me and Mrs Me walked 142 miles and His Podgeness cycled 1,255 miles. Having now been bitten by the virtual bug we now plan to [virtually] walk The Ring of Kerry walking 124 miles through the mystical Iveragh Peninsula in Ireland followed by The Mount Fuji Virtual Challenge of just 46 miles after which, we’ll see what we can do next. For my part, I plan to [virtually] cycle Route 66 (2280 miles across the USA) and St Francis Way (312 miles from Florence to the Vatican). Why virtual you may ask! well, Podge’s COPD is now rated as severe with overlapping Chronic Asthma with a lung effectiveness of just 44%: Even walking round Hungerford can be a struggle and the virtual rides on a static bike mean I can stop whenever I want / need to. Poor Podge.

I, His Podgeness, also planned to escape Obesity during 2020. Well, I’m here to tell you that [despite all the exercise] Podge did no such thing. Despite walking 142 miles and cycling 1255 miles, and not going on any cruises, Podge is still Podge. Poor Podge. Podge really needs to get Podgeless.

The Dietary Habits of a Cruise Ship Passengers

I wrote this while on a long-ago cruise: Ahhh, happy days.

So, when at home my daily dietary habits include:

  • Breakfast
    • Porridge or cereal
  • Lunch
    • Sandwich, maybe an omelet
  • Dinner
    • In the hands of Mrs. Me there I’m afraid.

Obviously along the way there may be a few drinks involved, a couple of glasses of wine, a couple of glasses of whiskey and of course coffee / tea and yes, even water. And this, along with occasional biscuit, cake, crisps etc. does me quite adequately for any day of the week. So why is it that as soon as I and, I suspect many other people, throw caution to the wind; discard common sense ignore what one’s body is saying and devour anything on offer.

When on a cruise ship however my dietary habits change and might typically include:

  • Breakfast
    • Porridge (maybe), fried eggs, bacon, sausage(s), beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread, and [sometimes] black pudding, followed by toast and jam and a plate of fruit.
  • Lunch
    • Fish & chips, or curry and chips, or pie and chips plus a chocolate desert and maybe some fruit and a pint of lager
  • Tea
    • Sandwiches (small and various) plus a small cake and a glass of Rosé
  • Fivesie’s
    • Large gin & tonic plus a bowl of nibbles and maybe another gin & tonic
  • Dinner
    • Starter) Prawn Cocktail, Foie Gras or melon:
    • Main Course) Chicken or salmon or steak, with chips, maybe some peas;
    • Desert) whatever is on offer but normally includes cream / custard or, if I’m feeling a little too plump by this time of day, a sorbet.
    • All accompanied by wine and whiskey.
  • After Dinner
    • Retire to see a show or listen to a band to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine / champagne / prosecco / or whiskey.

Obviously along the way there may be a few drinks involved, a couple of glasses of wine, a couple of glasses of whiskey and of course coffee / tea and yes, even water, but, no occasional biscuit, cake, crisps etc. I’m not a pig you know.

I like Whiskey; I like Wine; I just can’t make up my mind which to have; So, I have them both 🙂

Now, taking all this into account, is it really the case that salt water (in abundance on a sea cruise) truly shrinks out clothes or can the be another explanation. Also, in my case at least, adding insult to injury, even my feet need bigger shoes when I go cruising: How on earth does that happen? Does the salt water affect shoes as well?

I leave these thought for pondering.

Navigare Necesse Est

On the 18th May, Podge reported that he’d lost 4 packs of lard: Yay, go Podge Go. On the 25th May, Podge reported that he’d put back on 4 packs of lard: Poor Podge had to go and sit on the Naughty Step 😢. Podge went into meltdown and took drastic measures including the Toal ban on Jammy Dodgers: The ban did also include Anti-Viral Medications (AVMs) but that ban was quickly rescinded. This week, Podge is happy to say that in the past week, he has lost two packs of lard (that’s a loss of 50% in 1-week, of that lost in the first 4-weeks). I therefore conclude from this that Jammy Dodgers clearly encourage Lard and AVMs make little or no difference, 😂🤪 and Podge is sticking by that.

In edition to losing the lard, my BMI has dropped to 30.3 and Body Fat has also dropped to 44.6 while Body Water has gone up to 39.7. The changes are small but, they are all in the right direction: Despite all being, currently, the wrong side of the trend line, all is good in Podge’s world.

Anyway, back to the job in hand. Over the past week, Podge has cycled a total of 74.45 miles and walked a total of 9.4 miles (not bad for COPD St3).

This means that some serious progress has been made on the challenges currently underway (Lands End to John O’Groats [LeJog] and 2020 in respect of cycling and Hadrian’s Wall and the Inca Trail in respect of walking).

I’ve added the Inca Trail purely to encourage Mrs Me to join me on my walks but I don’t report on it. The progress report on Rome-2-Home has been dropped as it is running alongside LeJog and I don’t actually like the route; cycling along major highways just isn’t realistic. For 2021 however I will remap Rome-to-Home to follow the route I would have done if I’d done it for real; as originally planned for at the beginning of the millennium. That route will be sooooo much longer, but prettier.

All rides on Bkool and reported through Strava. All walks measured using my Apple device.

All virtual challenges are tracked through  ‘My Virtual Mission‘ and challenges entered through The ‘Conqueror Virtual Challenge‘ site.

All rides are done in my garage (walks done elsewhere 😋) as my GP has banged me up for a minimum of 12 weeks (reset to start from the 11th May ) due to having Codgers Old Puffing Disease (COPD Stage 3). 😭

Wish me luck – I surely need it.
Go Podge, Go. 

Podge must stop eating

Nooooooo. Podge has caught more podge. Podge is sooooo sad: Podge is miffed: Podge must try harder: A lot harder. Podge is a Very, Very Bad Lad. Why? Because Podge is back where Podge started: Fat.

Having analysed the past week, I suspect that having a BBQ (with appropriate social distancing) with ones ‘children’ (they’re adults really) may not have been such a good idea. Munching through burgers, sausages, hotdogs (all with requisite bread-rolls) all washed down with large Cobra Beer and Sauvignon Blanc seemed such a good idea at the time. Post BBQ I rewarded myself with a Jammy Dodger and a Choco Leibniz biscuits; individually, they seemed quite small but I suspect many will think that four of each may have been a little excessive as was the clotted cream ice cream. But hey, it’s been a tough couple of months for us all 🙂

I suspect you know where this is leading. Yes, Podge is back to ‘Podge As Was’. Podge has effectively lost diddly squat.

Last week has seen my weight return to 93.4kg so that’s a whole kg of lard back on. My BMI has gone up 0.3% overall, my body-fat has gone up 0.6% and my water content has dropped by 0.3% (apparently, my bones still weight the same though🤨). Naughty Podge. Having said all that, I haven’t had my hair cut since March: How heavy is hair? 😂

On the plus side (Podge always looks for silver linings), I did manage to cycle just over 74 miles (my weekly goal is 70) all against the lovely scenic backdrop of my garage.

I also walked a total of 5.5 illicit miles (don’t tell my doctor, she’ll tell me off for breaking lockdown) all in the fields: So I met nobody.

All of this means that I’m making great progress on my Rome to Home (27%) cycling challenge and my Hadrian’s Wall (10%) walking challenge: I’m just back to being fat 😦 :

All rides on Bkool and reported through Strava.

All virtual challenges are tracked through  ‘My Virtual Mission‘ and challenges entered through The ‘Conqueror Virtual Challenge‘ site.

All rides are done in my garage (walks done elsewhere 😋) as my GP has banged me up for a minimum of 12 weeks (reset to start from the 11th May ) due to having Codgers Old Puffing Disease (COPD Stage 3). 😭

Wish me luck – I think I need it.
Go Podge, Go. 

Podge must stop drinking and eating