Posts Tagged ‘suburban walker’

the lockdown log 36

Here in North Wiltshire it is grey, wet and cold. The days are short and whilst that does not bother me overmuch, apart from making outdoor projects more difficult, art depresses the Berkshire Belle enormously. With everything else that we have to cope with she is not doing too well at the moment and that tends to drag me down.

We have a lot to be thankful for; we have avoided catching this plague that is upon us and, even if we are a bit short on the psychological and emotional fronts, we have enough for our physical needs. That has motivated us to give the money we would have spent on Christmas presents to charity and, on the p[ronciple that charity starts at home, we have chosen charities that are supporting people in need here in the UK.

Assuaging our guilt? No, and these gifts do not provide any warm glow for us either, rather they add to the depression, for me anyway. We know that our donations are not enough to make any difference and opening up this world disturbs me; my Ostrich mentality is partly what gets me through (along with an very black sense of humour). I know that there is misery, p[overty and all sorts out and about, but choose to close my mind to it because otherwise I doubt that I could cope. What we have we have earned. I still work to make the difference between income and expenditure and we are comfortable so we have decided to give away cash that we would otherwise spent on things that might have provided pleasure, but which we do not need.

I am still losing weight and have now passed a milestone in that I have lost what we used to call three stone. That milestone leaves me a little short of getting down below 16 stone (100 kg), but it marks a point at which I will slow down the dieting a little. Weekly weigh ins will continue and any sign of gain will result in a further cut back on intake, but I am taking the focus off for now.It has surprised me just how much thinking and planning goes into dieting and I will enjoy using that time for other things. Dieting also involves time in making soups and such and that is more time that I might be able to save a little of to put to other uses.

Exercise still plays a big part in my days and I am on track to, if I can keep it up, pass the 1000 km walked mark by the end of December. I am going to get very close and so am aiming to go for it. Of course if I can do it in 6 months then I should be looking to do 2000 km in the full year 2021, but that is for the future.

My hobbies have come back into focus a little in that I have found a guitar tutor book that I have been able to connect with and that has seen me practising a little almost every day and, as always with practice, seeing some improvement. It has also helped the grey cells as I have been working on the theory and well as the physical. I am almost back at school in my approach using a little exercise book and writing stuff down, giving myself little tests and so on. It all helps to occupy my mind when there is nothing of interest on TV (most evenings). I am also reading a lot more at the moment and have thoughts of perhaps a little model-making over the Winter.

Predictive text is giving me a hard time this morning so I will stop now, quickly re-check this document for howlers and get it published. Stay safe out there wherever you are.

the lockdown log 33

Back on track! Last week I flatlined on my weight loss. Some of it was due to to needing another change to kick things along, to having done very well in preceding weeks and to a complete failure in discipline. However, I had got my head back in the game and, after a week of trying hard, I have lost another kilo.

The lack of discipline was that my normal diet regime of one treat a day; too or three walnut halves or dried apricots turned into three or four treats a day. I was doing without thinking and although that alone may not have resulted in not losing any weight (for the first time in four months) it will have made a difference. So I turned the screw and the scales are showing the difference. Official weigh in day for the week is tomorrow, but I know that I have done it.

I have also passed the 600 km walked mark and am looking good to be able to make the 1000 km target for 2021, maybe even 1500 km is possible and that would be something. I just need to be a bit careful about various joints and the dodgy knees that I was first afflicted with back around 1978 are somewhat more vulnerable 42 years on. Weight loss may be healthy, but there is a cost:benefit ratio to be considered and there is no point in wrecking important bits of me in the pursuit of losing weight.

So how are we doing otherwise? For both of us depression comes and goes. It is easier for me because I have work and a list of jobs that will keep me busy for a year or more plus a few hobbies that I would like to get around to, but can’t find time. For the Berkshire Belle it is harder as she has less to occupy her and is bored out her mind. This is a lady who once ran the largest retail distribution network in Europe through a team of around 250 people. Easy to see how she feels that she is vegetating.

Lockdown 2 means very little to us as we don’t socialise, other than to receive a series of parcels each week. There is the weekly shopping trip and that might include two shops, but mostly is just to the one. I work, but have very little interaction with colleagues so it makes little difference to us to be locked down. It will not affect our Christmas either. The only real impact fr us is that we have not had our holiday this year and have concerns around whether or not we can get one next year either. But we are healthy, safe and well fed so we are not complaining.

The various garden projects roll on with priority currently being given to bulb planting. It is not a favourite job, but I always enjoy the results come Spring when they give a bit of hope for warmer times and longer days ahead. Other jobs this week have seen some failures and the latter do little to help my mood because there are less hours of daylight and any that are wasted I abhor. Still, there is some good weather forecast and I will do my best with that.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 32

Had we not had the plague I would this morning be in the US about to start my second full day there. Why it had not occurred to us that our arrival would have coincided with the presidential election I struggle to understand, but that was the date that we booked for and I have to say that I am grateful to Covid-19 for having cancelled our trip because the situation over there is a bit ugly to say the least and we would not have felt safe.

So here I am in the UK instead. The last week has flashed past and a lot has been achieved despite the weather. The shed has come on leaps and bounds with much interior fitting out and cedar shingles installed on the side if the roof that we see from the house. Bulb planting is under way and some of the general Autumn tidying has been done.

I mentioned wildlife last week and promised some more detail. About 10 days ago I caught a glimpse of a fox leaving the garden with a bit of a limp and having passed this news on to the Berkshire Belle she reported having also seen it earlier and thought that it was not walking well. The next day I was working in the shed when said for approached me. It was holding its back left leg up off the ground and looked in discomfort. I filed a plant saucer with water from the butt and it took a drink, but by the time that I had gone indoors to raid the deli draw of the ‘fridge for some cold meat it had gone.

I talked to a local animal rescue centre and they were happy to come and get the fox if I could lure it into the shed and keep it safe. I went to the local shop and got some dog food to leave out overnight and that vanished by morning, but I did not know who had eaten it and so a basic wildlife camera was bought and set up. That caught a fox and a hedgehog as well as several cats. The fox and the hedgehog had eaten the dog food, but the fox concerned had no problem walking on all four feet and there was no sign of one limping.

Did the lime fox get better or has it died? I doubt that we will ever know and I have stopped putting out food as I don’t want to become the fox equivalent of an all-night cafe. We are happy to feed the hedgehogs, but have not yet worked out how to feed one and not the other. Cunning plans are being formulated along =with the restoration of a hedgehog house down in the back corner of the garden.

We have both been through a bad spell this last week, the Berkshire Belle slumping into a really deep depression with the leaked news last weekend about another lockdown. That, plus a poorly fox, the dishwasher packing up, the washing machine showing signs of failing, the weather predicting a very cold snap plus a bad Winter and a few other little things pushed her over the edge. Her being somewhat stricken was enough to flatten me too and so I just threw myself into anything and everything that I could find to do. We have both climbed out of our respective holes and whilst not exactly cheerful we are not miserable either.

I think that I am going to have a plateau week on the weight loss. I must be about due for another one and may have to take that one on the chin and move on. Today looks like it will be a good one for garden chores and so bulb planting will be at the top of my job list once I have got other chores out of the way. If I can I might try for a long walk later to try and burn off a few more grams before the weigh in tomorrow morning. I have still no drunk my bottle of beer and I think that t will be staying in the ‘fridge for a while longer yet.

Stay safe wherever you are.

the lockdown log 31

A bit late this week as it has been a hectic one here, but we are both still functioning. This is being written on Sunday afternoon and so we know that we are heading for another lockdown if parliament vote for it on Wednesday. Do we need it? Buggered if I know; we will just have to cope with whatever it brings and will, as so far, do what we are asked to do.

I would normally have written this on Thursday morning, but I got up to find that the dishwasher had died and spent most of the morning checking the obvious things to see if I could get it going again, but to no avail: A new one is needed. Grabbing the chance to get some outside work done and an exercise walk in meant no time for sitting here blogging. Friday and Saturday vanished ion a blur of jobs and Sunday mornings are always housework time so here I am taking a few minutes after getting various month end stuff done on-line. The sun is out although it was supposed to be raining and I might have an unexp[ected chance to get some time in the garden before cooking dinner.

My weight loss is still going the right way and I am down to 107 kg having hit my 108 target the week before. I still have not drunk the bottle of London Porter that I had promised myself and it is sitting in the ‘fridge awaiting the moment when I feel I have really earned it. Something in my mental approach to dieting has gone awry here and I seem to have lost all focus. On that basis I have held my reward back even though the scales tell me that I have gone below the point that I had set.

This morning I went out and walked just over 6 km in just over an hour. I did not want to go out and, when I did, I did not want to go far, but I just got my head down and got on with it despite it not being a nice morning. This was another example of my head not being in the game and having to push myself to get on with it. There may be an element of diet/exercise fatigue creeping in after 4 months and I clocked up 500 km walked since July late last week. Walking gets in the way of my various DIY projects and as for my hobbies, well they are largely forgotten. I do not have enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do let alone having to coupe with clapped out domestic appliances.

Nil illegiti carborundum as we used to say and I fall back on buy basic principle that life is shit that you have to rise above. As long as I can still laugh about it and still get some results everything will be OK.

All for now as I have other things to get done. Next week I will try and fit in some news about the local wildlife. Stay safe wherever you are.