A Day in the Life of a Roman Empress

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Location: Malaysia

Formerly an Empress and the crowning glory of the Roman Empire, long-suffering glamorous wife of Caesar Augustus (a marriage of INconvenience, if you ask me!) Some people call me a drama-queen but then I'm often misunderstood. Deep down I'm really just a medium-maintenance princess. Some people think I have a puppy personality just because I have eyes shaped like an upside down smile. That would be one of the few times public opinion was accurate. Find out for yourself. Read on.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

FORCE = Mass x Acceleration; OBESITY = Mass x 14 days (Scottish Fry-ups)

FORCE = Mass x Acceleration;OBESITY = Mass x 14 days (Scottish Fry-ups)
The devil hates exercise.
I'm sure if he had his way, all of us would've turned into sad muscle-less blobs of humanity dotting our already over-populated-with-clinically-obese-people world.
That was a mouthful. Quite like the five French truffles I just delicately consumed for inspiration. Which just reaffirms one of the sad facts about indoor sports like blogging, day-dreaming and watching TV: If you don't get fat from chronic inactivity, you will, on the accompanying "brain foods" needed to sustain the vigors of sedentary living.
As it is, the devil's had way too much success already. When I was in the UK for a rare holiday in August, my medic sister told me more than 65% of the school-children in Scotland are considered obese. The figures (if you'll excuse the pun) are pretty scary, but somehow not surprising. I put on 4kg after just 2 weeks in Scotland. And this, despite 2 hour treks in the Scottish Highlands! (Not to mention skinny-dips in freezing Loch Lomond! Which shall be the subject of another blog. No pictures.) I think the famous "Scottish fry-ups" have a lot to do with this burgeoning (ahem) phenomenon. Mackie's of Scotland aka Makers of Excellent Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream may have contributed to it slightly.
Here's a rundown of my typical meal in Edinburgh:
Breakfast I
2 fried eggs shaped like a smiley face
3 strips of bacon (REAL bacon; none of that overprocessed stuff you get from Cold Storage in Bangsar)
2 fried tomatos2 fried sausages (fresh, big-assed ones; you can practically still hear the animal squealing when you chow down)
2 fried Tatties (that's 'potatos' for the uninitiated)
2 fried Neeps (TURNIPS!)
...and a host of other deep-fried odds & ends I can't identify because by then the excess cholesterol would've sent me into orbit.
This is followed by...
'Breakfast II' an hour later with another variation of fry-ups plus some dairy products thrown in for good measure. Don't even get me started on the cheese, jam, toast & smoked mackerels!
Lunch is normally Langoustine (a relative of our beloved Tiger Prawns, but with longer 'antennaes' & a more majestic aspect) swimming in Garlic butter, fries on the side, thick dark hot chocolate, cream of seafood soup or extra creamy clam chowder, followed inevitably with Mackie's of Scotland vanilla bean ice-cream.
Dinner is nothing much to shout about since it is normally a heavier version of lunch. But TEA! Oh, tea-time is an institution by itself. That's when a lot of sweeties & pastries & sugary stuff come out of Calpurnia's Closet & into Calpurnia's fat-saturated bloodstream! Marks & Spencer on Princes Street in Edinburgh alone will give you a diabetic rush, especially the food store section.
The diet is so rich there the only way I could balance it a tiny bit was by shopping. A lot. 'Course the only thing that got lighter was my chequebook. [Note: Forget about VAT refunds; I'm convinced it is merely a more sophisticated version of highway robbery.]
A funny thing happens when you get into the "Supersize Me" frame of mind. Your brain starts justifying every evil thing you stuff into your Holy Temple. (I meant body ok?) Suddenly, you decide that jogging in the cold for 2 minutes is equivalent to running a 2 hour marathon minus the frostbite on your nose. Which more than justifies Lunch II right after. Next, you figure that "big" in Asia means "petite" in the UK (another spin on Einstein's Theory of Relativity). BIG mistake.
Well, the Scots may be unwittingly breeding heartattacks in the playground, but I can't imagine a more romantic place to meditate on the wonders of God's handiwork than in the Highlands. I could hear the theme from "Braveheart" playing in my head everytime I walked (ok, heaved myself) along the winding path, staring at the craggy green & tan undulations, breathing air so fresh it actually cleared my sinuses. Loved it. Felt a bit nostalgic when I saw the Aquaducts in one of the scenes from "Narnia". I walked under those Aquaducts. Rode on that train (which, incidentally, was also doing double duty as the "Harry Potter" train!)
Coming back from Scotland was a shock since I could no longer fit into my old dresses. Thankfully, one of the standard "uniforms" I have for teaching in a government university is the muu-muu like 'baju kurung'. Fits all shapes and sizes probably until the 3rd trimester. Hence my project for the coming year was to trim, trim, trim the excess bacon off. My enemy the devil & his aptly named cousin, Procrastination, are hard at work. Which is why I'm typing in my bathing suit now, instead of working out in the pool as I'd meant to. Have you ever noticed that everytime you struggle into last year's gym gear, the telephone always rings with some urgent messages from the office? Or you accidentally walk past a newspaper advert saying "LAST DAY SALE!! 70% OFF EVERYTHING!"? (I DEFY anyone who will choose a 2 hour treadmill pounding over "70% Off EVERYTHING". Especially women& metrosexuals)
Ah, but with a picture of Kirsty Hume (who, incidentally is Scottish! How....?!) taped to my refridgerator, and the theme from "Braveheart" playing in my head, & Superfit Caesar Augustus' number on speed-dial, I WILL survive this brush with potential borderline obesity by Chinese New Year 2006.
The devil bedamned.
Now where are those truffles??
Signing Off, Calpurnia circa 1978 A.D


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