Sunday, December 16, 2012

For the love of chocolate


Gentle readers, while you swoon with desire over the offerings above, let me say that the pic was taken over 3 years ago. I only have a 1kg slab of Dairy Milk and a monster bar of Toblerone in my 'fridge.


Anyway, here's some seasonal cheer for all my readers....

Chocolate is actually good for you!!!

Many thanks to Medscape and my friend Dujeepa for this heart warming compilation.

Slide 7.

Perspective (the small print)

In a commentary on Medscape,[35] Henry Black said, "What does that mean to us? Does it mean that we should start eating chocolate? Does it mean that we should prefer dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate or white chocolate? Perhaps. If we are going to recommend eating chocolate, we would like to be sure that we get the right kind. It is possible that there's something here that we actually like to do. We have to make sure that we watch the calories, that we don't gain too much weight, because we're pretty sure that eating too much isn't good for you either."

As for the Nobel Prize-winning chocolate eaters, Dr. Black added, "This is a bit tongue-in-cheek, and I want to congratulate the New England Journal of Medicine for having a sense of humor."

  1. Flammer AJ, Sudano I, Wolfrum M, Thomas R, et al. Cardiovascular effects of flavanol-rich chocolate in patients with heart failure. Eur Heart J. 2012;33:2172-2180. Accessed November 19, 2012.
  2. Golomb BA, Koperski S, White HL Association between more frequent chocolate consumption and lower body mass index. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172:519-521.
  3. Brown T. Frequent chocolate consumption linked to lower BMI. Medscape Medical News. March 26, 2012. November 19, 2012.
  4. Zomer E, Owen A, Magliano DJ, Liew D, Reid CM. The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. BMJ. 2012;344:e3657.
  5. Grassi D, Desideri G, Necozione S, et al. Protective effects of flavanol-rich dark chocolate on endothelial function and wave reflection during acute hyperglycemia. Hypertension. 2012;60:827-832.
  6. Messerli FH. Chocolate consumption, cognitive function, and Nobel laureates. N Engl J Med. 2012;367:1562-1564.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back... and more!

Dearest readers... many apologies for my long silence, 3 months and more as reminded gently by Megs.

In summary though, I went to TN, came back completely unscathed and then drowned in a load of work and baby stuff. I completed my UK accreditation in higher education and submitted my portfolio for my postgraduate exam. The little Bumtrinket turned 1 and there was much joy and celebration. My finances lie in ruins due to big bash and indiscreet spending on luxury items for self. The Nanny abandoned us and I have been struggling for nearly 3 months without any household help... the one candidate we did find ran away (I kid you not) 2 days later and there was the whole shebang of filing police reports and what not.

So yeah... here I am a shadow (only figuratively - still am overweight  of my former self. Let's see if I can get this blog back on the role...


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Strange times

I guess many of you know about the deplorable events that took lace in Tamil Nadu and the travel advisory issued on travel to that state.

Um... so.... yeah....

I'm in Tamil Nadu...

Await updates!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Past few months...

ZOMG... where has all the time gone? I can't believe it has been over three months since my last post and so so much has happened! Ok, so this is just a peed post to get everyone (if there are any readers left) up to date...

  • The little Bumtrinket is 10 months old (TEN months, you guys, ten whole months!). She's gurgling and laughing and has just started to get teeth and pulls herself up to standing position and then flops down. Cannot yet differentiate between "Ammi"  and "umbrella".
  • I am worked off my feet, planning 3 big conferences for the latter part of the year... wish me luck!
  • Have lost a grand total of 3 kg and have like a gazillion more to lose. Am terrible about working out on the orbi, and Darling keeps saying "no pain, no gain" while my take on it is "no pain, no pain!" But 3kg is good, right?
  • My mum is back in SL - for good... this is SUCH a relief. We all need the mummy touch now and again.
  • I have not (repeat, NOT) completed either of the 2 PG courses I simultaneously (and recklessly) commenced last year. The final extension for both is September... wish me luck!
  • Someone very close to me passed away recently. I did all I could to save her, and yet keep getting haunted by feelings that i should have done more. Still tear up at the memories... :(
  • I've discovered Pinterest... loads of time wasted spent on the boards, and have finally started pinning myself. Await an overload of cuteness!

That's just a precis my friends... await more mediocre posts awesomeness soon!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Linguistic woes

Image from here

I had a great strategy for IELTS. I paid the exam fees and borrowed a stack of books and CDs, and planned to prepare leisurely over 2 months. As with most things in life, other matters got in the way and one week prior, I was yet to touch the stuff. Well, the solution was simple... I would just postpone the exam. Unfortunately, not only did this require an additional payment, it would be done only in the case of illness, death of a close relative or being the victim of a crime. 

I just couldn't bring myself to submit a fake medical, so I ended up speed reading through the sections and hoping for the best.

The written test went ok, except for a section of the listening test which involved a chap with a thick Scottish accent explaining how to get a fishing licence. The spoken test was the following day and having looked through some past papers, I was well prepared to speak about my hobbies, books, a favourite movie or TV show etc.

The examiner was pleasant enough, despite having to be there in the midst of a sudden downpour, and undoubtedly suffering from the effects of wet socks. I beamed at him, eager to show off my  superb linguistic skills. After the general chit chat, he proceeded on to the main topic.

John*: What are the principal export products of your country?

Angel : (on autopilot) tea, rubber and coconut**
(dammit! this is what we get from our rote learning oriented secondary education... parrot like repetition of what was learnt 15 years ago)

John : And where are there products exported to?

Angel : (wildly improvising) Um... tea is exported to China the Middle East and Coconut to Singapore and Malaysia. I really cannot remember where rubber is exported (hopes desperate smile will evoke sympathy).

John : Ah... and do you think your country needs to rethink its export policy? One would imagine that there are plenty of coconuts in Malaysia.

Angel : (swearing silently) Errr... we only export the coconut oil to Malaysia. Because of the palm oil industry, they don't produce coconut oil there (at least this is partly true)

John : Quite so. Shall we move on?

Angel : (relieved beyond measure) Of course.

John : Can you name a product manufactured outside your country that you would like to purchase?

Angel : (glibly) oh, I loved the silver earrings I bought in Bali... I would love to buy more!

John : Ah. Can you speak for 2 minutes on that product and why you wish to purchase it?

Angel : (obscure four letter words running riot in head) Um... errr... well... what I like is the intricate filigree work, which is, you know, very intricate (patriotism kicking in) but of course Sri Lankan silver is quite intricate as well and has very delicate filigree work too and... (remembering topic) ... ah but Balinese silver doesn't tarnish (mental facepalm) and the filigree is very intricately delicate too... and (thoughts going haywire) ... errrr... the Balinese silver doesn't have embellishment with gems as seen in Sri Lankan jewelry, but only delicate filigree work which is wonderful because I don't like wearing gem stones (remembers that earrings crusted with the despised gemstones are currently adorning ears) and  ...uh... it's very unusual and I like it, as all women want to wear unique accessories because then all their friends can envy them (realize that have single-handedly sent back the status of women to the 18th century). Um.

John : (eyebrows raised) And do you often purchase this product?

Angel : (completely disheartened) Um... no. Because of the state of the economy, i can't afford to go to Bali.

John : (with indecent haste) Yes, I think we should conclude.

Angel (insincerely) Thank you.

So, after that completely humiliating experience (I mean, how many times can one person mention the words "intricate" "delicate" and "filigree" in a single breath?) I came home, vowing to re-take the exam, even if it meant parting with close to half my salary.

I got my results a few days ago, and unsurprisingly, have scored the least marks for the spoken test. In fact, I was rather insulted by the paltry marks given by the examiner, who obviously does not understand that the auto-wittering is entirely involuntary. Besides, he should not have marked me down for lack of content when my vocabulary contained great words such as "filigree", "intricate" and "delicate".

 However, I seem to have compensated well, as my overall band score is 8.5 (hurrah!)

All's well that ends well... I guess!

* Not his real name of course
** No gentle readers, I did not remember garments. Even though Darling worked in the garment industry for years. JP's post was just too late!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Once upon dream

I had the greatest dream last night...

I dreamt that I had enrolled in a clinical trial designed to test three different types of (heavenly smelling) bubble bath in order to find out which was most effective in shedding off extra fat.

Image from here 

This would mean that I would get paid to spend a couple of hours everyday soaking in a hot, luxurious bubble bath, and end up with a wonderful, toned body to boot...

Why, oh why is my real life nothing like this?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Too much!

I remember rolling my eyes at the Aunty Brigade countless times... and never more so than when they're discussing the cheeky and charming antics of their twee offspring and twittering that "Aney the little one is too much, you know!"

And now I find myself in those same (slightly dowdy shoes). My little Bumtrinket is "too much"... just too mischievous by half. She's constantly making me giggle... and constantly testing her limit (like most kids). She's sitting up and rolling around and just starting to crawl... but hasn't quite mastered the skill. This doesn't seem to faze her and she moves by plonking her face on the bed (or mat or whatever) and squirming forward, bottom in the air, rather like a worm wriggling ... it's hilarious!

The little Bumtrinket has also learnt how to undo her diaper. She scratches at the adhesive tabs and gleefully rips them off. This is usually done when she is on our bed and needs to pee. She undoes the diaper... then rolls out of it and on to the bed... relieves herself... and then rolls over again. By the time I notice, the diaper is on one side, there's a large wet patch on the bed and she's on the other side, butt nekkid and grinning toothlessly at me.

At other times, she just eats her diaper. That's right, my daughter eats her diaper. I have caught her countless times... tabs undone, diaper pulled up from under her bum and her excellency chewing thoughtfully at the border.

I tell you... my child is just too much!