A spectacular sunset in Bangkok, showing the s...

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1. A tablespoon of Holy Crap cereal in a container of Activia no-fat yogurt for breakfast or for a snack. Tastes great with some nice crunch, fills up your tummy with good proteins and has a quick ‘transit time’.

2. Making homemade twelve grain bread and the scent of the rising dough as it sits on a kitchen chair in a shaft of sunlight.

3. The pristine blanket of snow on the lawn before the hares and wide-awake squirrels make tracks across the waves of white.

4. My new favourite detective story author, John Burdett, who has authored A Personal History of Thirst, The Last Six Million Seconds, Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo and the Godfather of Kathmandu, all populated by people you’d want to meet.  There’s a lot of detail about how Buddhism affects/directs the daily lives of Thai people. Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep’s adventures solving crimes are so much more compelling because we’ve walked many of the streets he talks about. I burned through three novels and now I’m on the fourth book (Godfather…) of the series.

5. I attended an author reading and heard David Rotenberg, a Canadian author, speak about the craft of writing and his new book, Shanghai, the Ivory Compact. I downloaded it from the Kobo bookstore onto my Sony ebook reader and took it with me (along with 7 other ebooks, just in case I ran out). His style was reminiscent of James Mitchener or James Clavell – a sweeping saga with a fantastic cast of well-developed characters and a riveting story line. He’s also written a series about a homicide detective called Zhong Fong, a complex, thoughtful character.

Ploenchit rd Bangkok Thailand

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6. Move It and Lose It, an initiative from the world of Dr. Oz of TV fame (what is with those grown women who scream and squeal and get all vaporish when they get called up to be his ‘assistant of the day’, like a gaggle of pubescent girls waiting for a sighting of the Bieber-lad?). It took a couple of days to get signed up, no doubt due to the flood of other chubby ladies wanting to follow the plan! It’s free, allows you to log your food and create an exercise plan and be disciplined about follow-through. Works for me, although the daily calorie limits are pretty fierce. I’ve given up wine during the week but still have to have some popcorn or else I won’t be able to stick with it.

Given the unfriendly weather outside, it’s great to curl up with a pile of books, not think about food and have a cracking-good read.