In a similar vein to the words of the well-liked but now deceased comedian Spike Milligan who had written on his tombstone.’Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite, Irish for “I told you I was ill.”…….I told you I’d get bored once I retired!
Spike Milligan’s Headstone, Winchelsea, E.Sussex. The epitaph reads: “Duirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite”, Irish for “I told you I was ill”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Spike was a favourite of mine along with comedians such as Tommy Cooper, Marty Feldman and others who never failed to make me laugh. They had my kind of humour. Anyway, to the point, I laugh and joke about anything and everything these days serious stuff included. Life is too short to be walking about looking as if the troubles of the whole world were on your shoulders. Speaking about retirement, I am getting used to it but very slowly indeed. I have had the good fortune to have found things to do over the last few months, that is since the beginning of April when I declared myself to have stopped working as an electrician. Even so some small jobs have since come my way. I get to go for walks which I like for two reasons, the exercise and the fresh air. The air around here certainly is fresh coming off the Irish Sea and walks along the seafront are very refreshing. So it was I went for a slightly later than usual walk on Monday. I don’t know about you but I get a little wary of people following me even though their intentions might be completely innocent and most folk’s are. I was walking along a local street on my way down toward the sea when I sensed there was someone following me or rather walking in the same direction as myself. Peripheral vision is wonderful especially if the head is turned slightly in the direction behind you. I could see that it was a middle-aged guy dressed as you would expect from someone out for a walk and complete with rucksack too. He made no attempt to pass by but kept his distance behind me. The trouble was that distance was a mere ten metres and it made me feel uncomfortable. For a half-mile it continued that way until we reached the seafront where he decided to walk on by. Now it was my turn to repay him the compliment by walking behind him. He must have thought he could outpace me but I kept pace without even trying, in fact it seemed a little slow if anything. He kept looking back to see if he had left me behind but I was still there. I sensed he was by now feeling a little uneasy himself but that was my intention. About another half-mile and we would reach a point where there were three routes to choose from all in the same direction. I waited to see which way he would go then I chose another path. I ran a little way (I was wearing running shoes) to put some distance between us then began taking the route homeward. I bet he didn’t think I could run! I could have chosen to walk along the pier but chose the road over the bridge which spans the lake instead. I walked the last few metres on the pier and as I looked back toward the sea guess who was walking toward me? I carried on through the town centre before turning toward home. It was probably all in my imagination but when I am out alone I take great care in keeping my wits about me and a careful eye on those who are around me.
Up early on a wet and windy August Thursday morning ready to venture out for a walk. One banana later I was outside in the weather. Though it was wet and windy it was warm, though when in the wind it felt that much cooler. I ate breakfast on my return home because it was still early enough to do that. On some occasions I skip breakfast if I am late getting back home and have an early lunch instead. E was still sitting at the breakfast table when I returned. She seldom asks how far I walked but I usually tell her anyway. It had been a short walk of just over four miles but it felt as if I had walked twice the distance because of the wind. On the outward journey I had taken a more sheltered route in the built-up areas through the town but on my return leg I walked along the promenade which is totally exposed to the west. The wind was blowing from the south-west and therefore directly in my face. I could have taken the coastal road instead as it would have made little difference. Between the promenade and the coastal road a quarter-mile away there is almost nothing of height, lake and gardens is all. I shudder to think what it would have been like for anyone out running but there weren’t any runners to be seen. Fair weather runners? I think not for I never used to deliberately run in the wind in exposed places either. I had work to do in the afternoon and the weather was to change by then, that is it would stop raining. I have been building the column for the gate at the side of the house in the rear garden and the weather has been fine whilst doing it. This is how far I got with it the day before…(centre in both pictures)
I gave up on the idea of working on the column in the afternoon for two reasons, one I was feeling tired and two it was still very windy though the rain had stopped. At the side of the house where the work is being carried out it was very windy indeed with gusts of around 35 mph, far too uncomfortable to be working in especially as there is no hurry to finish the job. Hopefully though by the time you read this it will be completed.
Addicted to You (Hikaru Utada song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We humans can be addicted to many things though many of the things we can be addicted to are not good for us, there is no benefit from them. I refer of course to drugs both hard and soft in the normal acceptance of the term.
Addicted to Beauty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tea and coffee are drugs like so many other everyday foods and drinks but they are far from harmful unless huge amounts are consumed, something we are very unlikely to do in the great scheme of things. Aside from these things we can be addicted to watching movies, watching television, gardening, sports activities and so on. With me it was running, I would run for many miles each week, it was an addiction but a beneficial one. Too much of anything isn’t good for us and running can be overdone to our detriment. It is a question of balance.
Addicted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Running puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints and the spine to some extent which is why the correct footwear for running was designed and should be worn. They are designed to lessen the effect of impact with the ground as we run. Nowadays I only run on the treadmill at home but have turned to walking outdoors. Now I am finding that walking is becoming an addiction, I just love the exercise. Each day I go out I am wanting to go further and slowly I am doing so. I might intend to go for a short walk but end up going twice the distance. It has been many years since I stopped going for a run and since then my walking has always been limited to one or two miles that is until earlier this year when I began to take my walking more seriously. When I was working full or even part-time and also working on projects at home there was little time for going for a walk unless it was short. Now that I have more time to myself there is nothing to hold me back so I can go out each day as I please. I went for a short walk on Friday which turned out to be far longer than I had intended for as I walk my body is asking for more. I give in because it is pleasurable…..I’m addicted!
I Woke Up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I woke up on Thursday to a very cool day with a wind blowing. It had been raining overnight but when I arose around seven o’clock it had but almost stopped. The evening before and on through the night for a few hours it had been very humid and quite warm. I slept on top of the bed linen again because it was so uncomfortably ‘sticky’ and awoke at three-twenty after fours hours of sound sleep. I had the window open of course but by the middle of the night conditions turned a lot cooler. I had to slip beneath the bed sheets for warmth. A little less than a further four hours of sound sleep I was up and about. I have noticed my sleep patterns are gradually getting better and I am getting more sleep than I have been used to in recent years. I was going for a walk after breakfast and was in two minds as to what I should wear because of the coolness of the day. Any sort of coat would keep me too warm so I elected not to wear one. When I finally got outside and on my walk many folk I saw were wearing coats and carrying umbrellas. It wasn’t going to rain, I had faith in the forecast and it didn’t rain throughout the day. I seemed to be under dressed compared to what others were wearing as I wore only a lightweight sleeveless top and a skirt but I was comfortable despite that. I so much prefer it being cool and I am more used to that than I am with hot and humid weather. It stayed cool throughout the morning and only got warmer after lunch. In fact the minimum temperature had been about fifteen degrees Celsius when I went out on the walk and rose to eighteen later in the day. The wind made it feel that bit cooler. E had gone for her hospital appointment to have her hearing checked. Of all the other complaints she suffers with she was diagnosed with Tinnitus on her last visit too. Her mom had an appointment with the physiotherapist at the same time so they went together. E doesn’t like cool or cold weather at all whereas I don’t mind it too much. Whilst on the walk I received a call for my electrical services but I declined the work……it was to change a light bulb in a cooker extract hood! I get offered some silly jobs at times and that isn’t cool. I told her I had retired anyway.
I am getting more used to being a pedestrian lately, hardly doing any driving at all as there is little need to. Obviously the van gets its outings now and then but it is in the garage far longer than it is out of it. The truth is that the van hasn’t done much mileage since it was purchased in March 2008! Total distance covered? 30200 miles! Hardly moved at all in the last nine years and accordingly it is still as good as new. I doubt I covered more than a thousand miles over the last twelve months or so even doing electrical jobs. Now that I am undertaking almost no electrical work it is very unlikely the van will cover a thousand miles this year. I do like driving believe it or not and am happy doing it, it never was a problem with me. So I am walking more often but just for the pleasure of it and of course the exercise. Feet came before the wheel didn’t they? I went for my daily walk on Monday and had only gone a half-mile before seeing an acquaintance of mine who, with his wife, live near to our local pub and on this particular day the route I had taken. As I generally don’t frequent the pub in the evenings these days we seldom see each other. He told me that his sixtieth birthday was imminent to which I sparked, ‘Why it was only ten years ago you had your fiftieth’! Laughs all around. He had stopped by his house to collect something before he and his accomplice drove off again. He owns a company which manufactures and installs gates and railings. I continued with my walk and ended up walking about five miles or so circling the town in the process and ending up at our local ‘Dobbies‘ gardening centre. I say local in that it is in Southport but a mile from where I live. I had called in to use their washroom but before doing so I called E to ask if she would like to dine out and if she did could she come and pick me up. Now there is a restaurant at Dobbies but I doubt I’d ever have a meal there. I have used the restaurant when having a coffee and a quick snack sometimes. Anyway E arrived there twenty minutes later and we drove off to a pub on the outskirts of town to eat there. After lunch we stopped at a filling station for fuel and the returned to Dobbies for a free cup of coffee each. As a member I have the privilege of two free coffees each month, if I’ve a mind to go there. So E took advantage and we had a large latté apiece. Now E drives everywhere because of her condition and seldom walks far, in fact she can’t walk far anyway. Despite being a pedestrian more often it is always nice to be chauffeured around once in a while. Soon after we had returned home our neighbour called at the door to present us both with a little gift, a summer scarf for each of us. It was according to her a little gift in appreciation of the things we have done for her. We do help her out with different problems but we don’t expect to be rewarded for it and we do tell her not to buy things. However, it would be very discourteous to reject her obvious thanks for being good neighbours.
More walking about on Monday….I could get used to this! I extended my usual walk of two to three miles and did five instead, something more like the distances I used to do a couple of years back. I used to regularly walk eight to ten miles then but I was younger and was working many hours each week then. For many years I went running, doing four miles each day and often eight or sixteen miles each week too but I gave up running about eighteen years ago. Actually running isn’t as good as it is made out to be and isn’t good for the joints and spine. Brisk walking is safer and just as good for the heart and general health as far as exercise is concerned. Running certainly builds up stamina though and is good for improving blood circulation. I always found it exhilarating and I could feel the beneficial effects of a long run for many hours afterward. A brisk walk has a similar though lesser effect. Anyway, I was nearly finished my walk and noticed something on top of a perimeter wall surrounding a nearby apartment block. It was a debit card. I examined it and found it to be a recent issue so not an old one someone might have discarded, if indeed anyone would discard such a thing by leaving it on a wall. It was issued by the Santander Bank to someone addressed as ‘Miss…’.
No doubt she would have been terrified at the thought of someone using it illegally and emptying her account in the process. People should be more careful with their credit and debit cards and indeed all their financial affairs. I took it home and showed it to E. and we agreed to take the journey into town immediately and hand it in to the branch of that bank, the only one in the district. Bank branches are getting thinner on the ground and soon there might not be any at all! Having done our good deed for the day I took E out-of-town to lunch. We spent the remainder of the afternoon out on the patio whilst the sun was still shining. Tuesday promised rain once more.
Metropolis relaxing after a show… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am like a coiled-up spring which quickly unwinds at the slightest opportunity when I ought to be able to relax more often. My problem is that I get bored too easily I suppose. Relaxing for me isn’t always about finding time to sit down and do nothing, it is more likened to taking walks or doing something I don’t usually do. Now taking walks is something I have done much more of this year though they were always a part of my routine anyway. The weather has had its ups and downs over the last few weeks, too hot, a little cool, wet and windy, take your pick. It’s something we in the UK are used to, a case of having to be I guess but growing up in this country makes it that much easier to live with. On Sunday the weather forecast was for it to be warm and sunny but for much of the morning it was anything but that. It was cool and windy. However, things picked up and by eleven o’clock the sun came out and slowly the clouds blew away. I took a walk down toward the beach and when I reached the coastal road it was empty of traffic. It had been cordoned off because of a running event taking place. It is one of a few annual sporting and other events held locally hereabouts. I had forgotten it was taking place. It didn’t prevent me taking my chosen route and by that time it was almost over in any case. Further along the route in a local park was another event and this one looked better supported than the running. It was the annual beer festival! Obviously more people were interested in drinking beer than going for a run. I returned home through the back streets and those nearest the park were filled with vehicles, no doubt many belonging to the park visitors! I recognised one or two of them as belonging to people I know. Finally I was back home where I joined E who was relaxing on the patio. After lunch we both returned to the patio and stayed there for quite some time. I actually remained seated for more than thirty minutes! Now that is unusual for me. The needs of the garden overtook me though and I ended up doing a small amount of weeding before getting out the hose and watering the plants.
The last couple of days proved to be a complete change from the warm even hot days preceding and in fact have been quite cool. The cooling effect was due mainly to the high winds though the temperature had dropped dramatically too. Not ideal for relaxing in the garden or even working in the garden. I had been feeling drained with a lack of enthusiasm for any activity. I didn’t even take a walk because of the wind and the rain too, yes we finally got the rain we were hoping for. Anyway it was mainly the wind which kept me indoors. That was Friday and Saturday and it looked as if Sunday was going to follow suit. The day started dull and windy though any rain that fell was very slight indeed, so much so it was barely there. The forecast was promising as far as it promised to be sunny later in the day. It was only about 14 deg C throughout the morning with a little wind so I went out for a walk wearing a lightweight jacket, this one which I had purchased a couple of weeks ago
It looks like a raincoat but it isn’t designed for wet weather, it is more just a coat for use in the cool evenings of the warmer months of the year. It is very lightweight and comfortable to wear and it keeps the wind at bay if it isn’t too windy. I walked into the town centre and on the way saw an electrician acquaintance of mine working in an empty shop. Naturally I stopped for a chat with him before moving on. There is an open space named Princess Diana Gardens which is in front of the local civic buildings and theatre/arts centre and there was an army brass band playing there. Many folk were sitting on the benches listening and I found a seat and stayed listening too.
Believe it or not the band were standing in the circular area above the fountains you see in the picture. Of course the fountains were not switched on! Unfortunately I had missed much of the music but was still able to hear the last twenty minutes of the performance. The weekend had been dedicated to the armed forces with celebrations in Liverpool as well as Southport. Once the music was over I continued with my walk, returning home after two hours. After one o’clock the day brightened up but it wasn’t until three-thirty that E and I managed to squeeze in some relaxation on the patio in the now bright sunshine. It was still a little breezy though and the temperature hadn’t risen much.
It was unusual for me to have had a dream on Sunday night, nothing to do with the day of course but for some time now I don’t recall having had a dream. Perhaps it was because I had written a post about dreams earlier in the day and had reminded myself about things. The very short dream I had involved an old friend or two, a bar, two strangers and a dark confined place in which it all took place. The barmaid was a friend who had moved out of the area a few years ago and has since stopped communicating. She never was a barmaid but worked as a safety officer for a large biscuit manufacturer so why she was serving drinks I have no idea. The other friend who has also moved away was socialising with me in the dream. We often socialised in the short time we knew each other, about six or seven years but she too has stopped communicating. In the dream she had put on some weight whereas she had been tall and slim. Behind us in the cramped space were two strangers who in the dream seemed not to be. The male was trying to attract my attention to his friend or partner’s face which appeared to have something wrong with it though I hadn’t noticed. On my right higher up and sitting on a bench were two more people who spoke with me but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. The rear of the bar was dark and empty, devoid of anything tangible. That was it, the end of the dream.
I had planned to walk into town early the following morning so I retired to bed early too but couldn’t drop off to sleep for some time. It had been very windy for a few days and was to continue that way for another day. I dislike the wind but was determined to take the walk anyway as the plan was to buy some toiletries. I wanted to walk all the way there and back simply for the exercise which is what I did. There was no hurry, I had no appointments and had nothing to do at home that I was in the mood to be doing so I took my time. I took the more sheltered route to keep out of the wind as much as possible by walking the back streets. I like walking there because I take in the scenery, the buildings (I like architecture) and also the private gardens along the way to admire the plants. Surprisingly I was only away from home for an hour and a half.
‘I’ve had to book my appointment two weeks in advance, so we’ll both sit here until I feel unwell.’
I was sitting in the lounge when the house phone rang but I didn’t answer it. If it was for work they would call my mobile phone. Well my mobile phone rang a minute later and it was the doctor’s surgery asking if I would like to receive a vaccination against shingles. At first I declined but then changed my mind and accepted the offer. It is free anyway. I would receive it late in the afternoon. I only accepted the offer because as a child I had contracted chickenpox and could therefore be at risk. The virus which causes chickenpox can lay dormant deep in the nervous system for years and if it re-emerges can cause shingles. The vaccine is offered to adults over the age of fifty……………I just squeezed in………Ahem…….(I was born in 1945)
Then I received a call for my electrical services despite my still not advertising! It was a small job I would do on Thursday.
It was Saturday, the first of two warm and sunny days we were promised in the forecast and the first of two days to relax in. I woke up early and was soon having a shower and getting dressed to go downstairs for breakfast. I finished breakfast before nine o’clock and sat at my computer for half and hour as well as collating some information for my tax-return. A little bit at a time is the method I adopt when preparing my tax-return, it is easier that way for me because I don’t like sitting down for long periods as I probably would do if I did it all at once. In any case it only takes a few hours to get it prepared. I made myself a cup of coffee and went outside to sit on the bench in front of the patio…this one…
It faces east so gets full sunshine for a few hours each day. I could have sat on the patio but the artificial turf was wet with dew, as was the lawn too. Both dry pretty quickly once the sun gets high in the sky. Once I’d finished the coffee I became restless and couldn’t remain seated for long after. I took a stroll around the Mound (over on the right in the picture above). A single shoot caught my eye, it was another bluebell. Thinking it was near to the surface I tried to pull it out but no, it went deeper. Off I went for the kneeling stool and hand fork and I began to dig it out. Did I say single shoot? Never true most of the time with bluebells, there were several of them. I must have covered every cubic centimetre of the Mound by now but still they appear. Anyway that took a half-hour and I looked for something else to do. During my gardening renovations I have removed lots of small stones and some not so small, some natural stone and some man-made, bricks and the like. I had three large containers filled with them. This picture taken a few weeks earlier shows two of them nearly full.
I decided I would empty them out and separate the natural stone from the rubble. Some of the natural stone I placed around the base of the yucca plant shown in this picture at centre against the wall. It is immediately to the left of the buttress in case you can’t see it.
Now it was lunch time so I returned indoors. After lunch I returned to the patio and laid down on the now dry turf for an hour. I couldn’t stay there any longer but arose and went for a long walk in the sunshine. On my return home I spoke with my next door neighbour’s son for a time. They have a collie dog, a well-behaved animal that seldom barks, not like the two small dogs in a house nearby that sometimes bark incessantly for ages before someone finally stops them as happened when I went for a lie down on the patio earlier. My other next door neighbour also has a dog, a young setter that also seldom barks, or so I thought. I went into the house and made myself another coffee and sat out again on the patio. The setter started barking and did so for at least twenty minutes. I gave up and went indoors, actually to watch The Grand National annual steeplechase (horse race) on television. I have watched that race every year for as long as I can remember, well over sixty years. I returned outdoors to water the garden plants before finally going back inside for my evening meal. Peaceful, quiet and relaxing day? Well for most of the time.
It was quite pleasant on Sunday morning and I decided to go for a short walk. I had gotten up around eight o’clock but didn’t get downstairs until nine-thirty. After a breakfast of fruit I thought I would prepare a vegetable and chicken stew. I say vegetable and chicken rather than chicken and vegetable because the stews I make consist mainly of vegetables. It would be enough for two meals meaning I wouldn’t need to cook a main meal the next day. Leaving it to stand after it had cooked I went out for a walk. I wasn’t sure how far I would go, I most often decide that once I am out. This time I had a feeling it wouldn’t be too far. I was stopped by a lady after I had gone a half-mile and we chatted. I hadn’t met her before, she was a complete stranger but we talked for around ten minutes as if we’d known each other for years! We parted company and went our separate ways. I walked another mile and a half I guess before returning back home. I walked close-by my local pub at around twelve-fifteen and already the car park was full. I mentioned this in yesterday’s post. The pub has become so popular it is sometimes difficult to park there at times. In the warmer months, unless I am wearing heels I tend to walk there when I visit. I suppose I could have popped in but I was out for a walk and wasn’t carrying a purse. I went home instead. It had been a short walk though it might have been longer had I not been stopped. Usually I just plod on with no interruptions and I end up going further. Anyway I returned home and had another afternoon resting. I ate some of the stew for lunch followed by a slice of the apple pie I had cooked before Christmas, obviously defrosted of course.
I’m too tired now… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the past couple of weeks my sleeping habits have been quite erratic and I found myself lying in when I ought not have done. Yes, the reason for that was because I was tired but it was at the wrong time. It’s all about routine, work and play then rest but if there is little of the former two then sleep patterns suffer. Once in a while I will set my alarm to ensure I arise early even if I have no work the following day just so I can maintain my routine. So it was that on Sunday morning the alarm had been set to go off at seven forty-five to ensure I didn’t sleep in. So what happened? I awoke at seven-thirty! That’s what usually happens with me, the alarm is really only a standby just in case. Sunday turned out to be a gloriously sunny day but it was cold. After breakfast I went for a walk but halfway through I felt I shouldn’t have, I felt tired and weary even though I’d slept well. I was in half a mind to cut the walk short. This has happened once or twice in the past but each time I dismissed the thought and carried on with the walk. It is a similar experience to those I had when I used to go running, getting through the pain barrier. I found I was beginning to enjoy the walk despite my earlier feelings of tiredness. Even so, by the time I had almost completed my walk all I wanted to do was sit down and rest. I began thinking it was due to my age or perhaps I had been doing too much lately or both those things but after a hot drink of coffee sweetened with honey I perked up. I needed nourishment. I had eaten porridge and fruit for breakfast so shouldn’t have felt hungry and in fact I wasn’t feeling hungry at all. I hadn’t taken into account that in the colder weather I might have needed more energy but on reflection I don’t think that was the problem. I think life got to me!
Later in the afternoon I was sitting in the front lounge when there was a knock on the window. I thought E had perhaps forgotten her keys for she had gone out earlier but that wouldn’t be likely, it was my eldest son who had driven over to collect some things and to have a chat. It appears he is becoming dissatisfied with his work as a police officer. He enjoys his work but the excess pressure is getting to him. He and his wife are finding it difficult to raise enough funds with which to purchase their own home and as she hasn’t a full-time job saving is minimal. He has been considering a change in career and had thoughts about qualifying as an electrician! If he can obtain his qualifications, which will be after three years under normal circumstances, he can then become self-employed. I would of course give him all the support I could by ’employing’ him. It might not happen, it is up to him, we’ll have to wait and see but he has worked with me in the past, before his university days. He is well able to do the work.
A sedentary person, or “typical couch potato” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was watching the day’s news on television today (Wednesday) and smiled when I heard about an elderly widower who has been advertising for a job vacancy. He is just about 90 years old, his wife died two years ago and he says the boredom of not doing anything each day is driving him crazy. I know many his age who find it difficult to get up from the couch being as they are self-confessed couch potatoes! I admired his pluck and his obvious energy, even at his age, no, especially at his age. The newsreader went on to say that a local restaurant owner has invited the man along for an interview with the prospect of work to follow we assume if he is successful at the interview. I wish him success too. Not everyone wants to stop working as they get older it seems so I am in good company. I find it difficult to sit around doing nothing for any length of time but I don’t wish to spend my time doing useless things either. I like to be productive which means creating improvements in anything I do. It is good to spend time out of course but not for too long or too often. I know people who just flit away the hours going from place to place but actually getting nowhere, their time is spent looking at things or sitting in pubs and restaurants every day which would bore me to tears. Each to their own of course but I want to leave a lasting legacy that hopefully others will be able to enjoy when I’m gone. This is one of the reasons I like working for others or working at home on the house or especially in the gardens. I was looking out of the window in the wet room which overlooks the side of the house where I had been working during the summer, the ‘Plot’. I look at my achievements both there and elsewhere in the garden and am satisfied that what I have done is lasting. Whenever I look out of the windows at home my thoughts centre on what other improvements I can make. I am limited at this time of year as to what I am able to do simply because of the weather but I like making plans, in my head at least, for any future projects I’ve a mind to do. If I reach 90 I hope I will still have that same attitude and not resign myself or consign myself to a life of idleness.
Leggy legs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well not entirely. I have always been an active person, that is one who is either exercising or working most of the time. As a child I, like many children then and even now, was involved in some sport or exercise of one kind or another. In my late teens I purchased a bicycle and rode for miles every day I could but then in my early twenties I learned to drive and after I purchased my first car my bicycling days became less frequent. I did ride occasionally however but took an interest in my mid-thirties in running. From that time until around ten years ago I continued to go for a run. I would never run less than four miles and more often it would be eight. I also ran sixteen miles regularly too. I never ran a marathon though but did runs up to twenty miles. I liked running more than any other form of exercise, even swimming which I loved too. The furthest I have ever swum in one go was about a half-mile. All these exercises did wonders for my legs, in shaping them and strengthening them, so much so that many people used to compliment me on my legs! Many women I meet tell me they are jealous of my legs but men have only ogled them! I suppose wearing heels helps too. My working life at this moment is slowing down and currently I am attempting to have a two-week break from it. Not publishing my advert for two weeks should help me but there is never a guarantee I won’t receive requests. We are again enjoying some fine, dry and sunny weather at the moment so on Friday (as I write this) I went for a short walk of around three miles. I hadn’t been out walking for several weeks because of a knee problem, my left knee to be precise which has always been weak relative to the other. I had been so busy working I didn’t much feel like going for walks anyway which helped me to rest the knee. The walk took me down Rotten Row (Southport) past the long flowerbeds which run the length of the road. I have taken to admiring plants and their varieties over the last couple of years as I have been getting more involved with gardening at home. I now do most of the gardening at home and E does very little because of her condition. It means more exercise for me which is always welcome and will be more so as my electrical work drops away. I have no plans to stop that work just yet but will wait and see what happens. I didn’t meet anyone I know whilst on my walk until I was almost back home when a younger woman approaching me from the opposite direction spoke as she we drew closer. She is around forty years of age, has long blonde hair and invariably wears black clothes with jewelry. I only know this as I have seen her at other times when out. She smiled to me and said, ‘You’ve got a lovely pair of legs. I wish I had them, they are so shapely’. I didn’t know what to say at first but quipped, ‘Yes and they go all the way up to the top’. She smiled again and carried on walking. Now I don’t know the woman though I do recall having spoken with her once before. I continued on my way back home a couple of hundred metres away and thinking to myself, ‘What an odd thing for a stranger and especially another woman to say such a thing but what a nice comment too’. By the way those legs above are not mine though I think my legs are quite shapely too, especially when I am wearing heels. When out walking I wear flat-heeled shoes. My legs are shapely I think probably because of all those leg-exercising activities in my life.