A walk

Walk It Out
Walk It Out (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had arisen from my bed three times during the night but ended up finally getting up at almost ten o’clock! By the time I was downstairs it was almost eleven o’clock and not feeling in the least hungry I decided to skip eating and go for a short walk. It was Thursday morning. E would be going to the shops with her mom to do the weekly shopping together as they usually do after lunch, so I thought. She had decided to do the shopping before lunch instead. I put on my outdoor clothing and boots and off I went for a walk. I hadn’t been for a walk outdoors for quite a number of days due to my leg muscles’ injury and although I had been using the treadmill for some exercise I didn’t want to push my luck by going too far on the walk. As it happened I managed to go just over two miles with ease. I had missed the outdoor walks but now I knew I would be able to resume taking them. I am happy too that I can resume more serious exercising on the equipment though for the elliptical trainer I will need to take it very slowly. I had taken the route along the coastal road but stayed off the beach, that is the path through what passes for a beach alongside but well below the level of the road. There was an enormous amount of seaweed and all sorts of things washed-up together with many plastic bottles of various sizes mingled within it. It is such a shame that today’s society discard their waste anywhere they want instead of disposing it in one of the numerous waste bins provided. There seems to be little respect for the environment, their environment. I wonder what their homes are like. When I had walked over a mile I turned inland to return home, first through a local park then on through the streets to home. E was still out shopping when I returned. After taking a snack I sat watching television whilst waiting for her to return. I didn’t have to wait long and it was time to bring in the shopping. As she cannot carry much due to her condition I more or less bring it all indoors myself. I only mention that because carrying those heavy bags of shopping was making my leg muscles ache a little. It would be so easy to hinder the healing process and end up having to start all over again. I was careful not to let that happen.

Shirley Anne

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On the go

In yesterday’s post I talked about continuing with the work in the garden and the weather thwarting that possibility. Wednesday (27) was a far better day for working outdoors as it was dry and sunny for the most part though I have to add much colder than it had been in the previous week. I didn’t get out of bed especially early as I might have done another time but I was downstairs exercising on the gym equipment by nine o’clock even so. After a brief cooling off outside I returned upstairs for breakfast before taking a shower and getting dressed for the day. Over the last couple of days our youngest son has been staying here and his car is left parked on the driveway in front of the house when he is here. The vehicle is supplied by the company he works for and he normally gets it cleaned in a car wash station. His employer pays for that but I suppose only once a month. It stood there looking as if it had been in a coal mine for weeks but as he said, driving up and down the motorways in the rain keeps it looking that way! I put on my overalls and with a bucket of warm water, liquid soap and the nylon bristled sweeping brush I keep in my van for cleaning the van I set about cleaning the car. It didn’t take long and at least it would look much better for a while…

Having done my good deed for the day I returned to the rear garden and set about fixing the stones in the rear edge of the small bed that is now occupied by the new fan palm…

I mixed some fine concrete to fill in the gaps and used what was left to fill holes elsewhere around the garden and one of the surface water grids. When I returned into the house through the cellar door my son was using the elliptical trainer and then the bench press to do some weight lifting. He, just like his brother, are certainly a healthy and muscular pair of guys. They each have membership in their preferred gymnasium but obviously take advantage of the equipment we have at home when they visit. It is good to see they are looking after themselves by keeping fit. I wonder where they get that from?

Shirley Anne

 

It is the start

English: Gayle Beck After a morning of constan...
Gayle Beck After a morning of constant drizzle, Gayle beck is seen flowing through Hawes with a fair volume of water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am writing this on Thursday 21 after having my lunch. I had missed breakfast as I tend to do when I plan going for a walk in the morning. This morning was no exception. It has been a wet and dull morning with no prospect of any sunshine at all today. It wasn’t raining heavily when I went out but there was a constant drizzle, fine rain, the sort that drifts slowly down from the sky and seems to get into every nook and cranny not effectively screened from it. Even such fine drizzle can lead to streams of gushing water in some places. Anyway, it wasn’t going to prevent my enjoyment and off I went. I headed to the beach and walked toward the pier at which point I took to the roadside because there was too much mud on the beach for the next couple of hundred metres. I decided to remain on the roadside and continued as far as I wished until turning off to return homeward along a different route. I did return to the seafront for the last part of my walk. By the time I arrived home I was ready to do it all over again……but I didn’t. It proves a point, one which I already knew anyway, that the more we exercise the more we want to and are able to. It is all about building up stamina. When we exercise our bodies produce endorphins, ‘Any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides which activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.‘ In other words exercising makes you feel good. It is the start of Winter (Dec 21 or thereabouts) today if it can be pinned down to the calendar of course. It is so mild despite the rain. For some time now I have done little in the way of work at home though there are some things in the pipeline ahead which I plan on doing. I made the decision to put off all little projects until the beginning of the new year and simply enjoy doing nothing for a while, apart from my exercising of course.

Shirley Anne

 

The way it goes

Gym Cardio Area Overlooking Greenery Category:...
Gym Cardio Area Overlooking Greenery Category:Fitness_training Category:Elliptical_Cross_Trainers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was Monday 18th, a week before Christmas day and I was set to resume my workout regime after a week of abstinence. The reason for the abstinence I mentioned in a previous post but essentially it was to allow my muscles to recuperate after I had overworked them on our new elliptical trainer. Now that they had recuperated I was eager to resume exercising. Although I had been for a couple of short walks during the week in order to do some exercise I needed to get started again on the gym equipment. Maybe it was that I simply wasn’t tired enough but I found it very difficult to get to sleep on Sunday evening. I found myself tossing and turning throughout the night until eventually I fell asleep properly. However, it was by then 4.30 which meant I didn’t wake until almost 11.00 . E had gone out somewhere and probably wouldn’t be home until late in the afternoon. I dragged myself out of bed and dressed in my sportswear. After a short warm-up and a spell on the vibrating machine which helps loosen up the muscles I got on the treadmill and began my exercise. Half an hour later I mounted the elliptical trainer and began exercising on that, very slowly and only at a walking pace. I was determined not to do any strenuous exercise on the machine this first time after abstaining from using it. After about fifteen minutes I stopped. Maybe at the next visit I will begin to extend my time on it. Although I wasn’t too warm after my exercising I went into the garden to cool off anyway and as usual with me I am looking to see if there are any weeds which I can pull out when out there. This time I ended up sweeping leaves and putting them in the wheelie bin!. It was time to return indoors and change out of my sportswear and dress for the day. It was 1 o’clock. Time for lunch. I had it in mind to go for a walk but changed my mind, I would be going for a long walk the following day and didn’t want to overdo things by exercising too much. According to the weather forecast we were in for some fine weather for a few days which is always nice when going for walks.

Shirley Anne

A step too far

Ever regretted having done something and paying the price for it later? I was browsing my dashboard here at Minkyweasel World and noticed a couple of readers had browsed and presumably read a post I had written two years ago in late December. You can read it here…(https://minkyweasel.com/2015/12/29/counting-the-cost/). At the time I was referring to the financial cost of Christmas and why people impose upon themselves the burden. Later in the post I talked about the real reason for Christmas. As often I re-read a previous article when someone else has taken an interest in it just to remind me of its content. Having re-read that article it reminded me of something that has happened to me a few times in my life, the penalty one pays after overdoing something. I wouldn’t call myself an alcoholic but have over-indulged many a time in my past. I hasten to add here that I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol in over five, or is it six years? There was a reason for my abstinence this last and final time though. I had never considered giving up the habit, I saw no reason to give it up completely. Whereas before I would ‘go on the wagon’ for a few years for one reason or another this last time was different. I was sitting at home seated quietly on the sofa and half-watching the television as I recall when I heard a loud voice speaking to me as if someone was standing close behind. Two words were spoken, ‘Stop drinking’, and then all went quiet again. I really thought that someone was standing behind me but I was alone in the room. My personal belief is that God was telling me to stop drinking. It wasn’t the first time God had spoken to me, there were two other occasions but they are another story. Many times I suffered from the after effects of drinking alcohol but repeatedly continued again once sober. I wasn’t addicted insomuch as I could take it or leave it, I wasn’t dependent upon it but perhaps had I not ceased I might well now be an alcoholic. Like many things in life there is often a price to be paid for our overindulgence. It is Tuesday 12 as  write this and I can hardly walk a step without feeling pain. In fact I have been finding it difficult to stand up from a seated or lying down position since yesterday morning, my upper leg muscles won’t lift my body. My condition is slowly improving but in the meantime I have to remain patient. The cause of the problem is my overindulging activity on the new Elliptical Trainer followed by a stint on the Treadmill! Put simply my leg muscles were not used to the type of exercise the Trainer gives and although I was cautious in using it I wasn’t cautious enough. Now I have to wait for restoration before I can resume my exercise regime. Naturally I will have to resume slowly else get myself into more mischief! One step too far…..something to be avoided.

Shirley Anne

Feels so strange

At this time of year I was always busy working but this year all that has changed. Since my retirement back in April I have not done any electrical work to speak of, just a couple of very minor jobs and some of them were at home anyway. From around September until the week preceding Christmas I was kept busy doing electrical work with little time for myself. I was used to the pressure but then again I worked better under pressure, still do. However over the last few weeks I have had very little work to do, certainly no contract work and what I have been doing at home wasn’t that taxing. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am glad the pressure has been lifted from my shoulders and that now I can please myself what I do and when I do it. It is simply that it feels a little strange having all this freedom. I have been occupying myself outside of any domestic jobs I do by taking walks and exercising more on what equipment we have accumulated over the last few years. I am currently getting to grips with the new elliptical trainer we purchased a week or so back. Having not used one before it certainly felt strange when making the first attempt! I am more used to the treadmill, that is my muscles are more used to it.

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...
Collage of several of Gray’s muscle pictures, by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the elliptical trainer however those muscles are exercised in a different way and other muscles not exercised much when running or even walking have to adjust too. I wake up in the mornings with a kind of joy in my heart knowing I haven’t any reason to rush into the day so in a way that too feels strange, though I am getting used to it. To be honest I rarely lie in bed for long once I am awake and half the time I have something in mind I want to do anyway. I never thought of it before but having one’s remaining years free to one’s self is often not appreciated until the time it arrives. I’ll try to make the most of them.

Shirley Anne

Gymnasium!

I have been harping on about gym equipment recently and our re-arrangement and clean-up of what you might call our little gymnasium which is down in the cellar. It may be an unusual place to have it as it is actually in the room in which we have the house boiler and where we sometimes hang our laundry to dry when the weather is poor. The room does get warm of course but not so much as to prevent activity on the equipment we have. In any case we can always open the door leading out to the garden if it ever gets too warm which I think is very unlikely. I have always wished for a gymnasium at home and at one point, when the children were younger, I was going to have one in the garage in which E parks her car. At that time the other garage accommodated two vehicles but these days although the garage’s size hasn’t changed its contents have! We store apart from my van, ladders, scaffolding tower, cement mixer, mowers, wheelbarrow and many other things in there now. So the only alternative was to make use of the cellar rooms and only one of them was considered practical, the boiler room. Aside from the fact that the other rooms have a lower ceiling at around seven feet (2.133 metres) the boiler room ceiling is at eight feet (2.438 metres). When using barbells even that height is low but I personally don’t lift weights though if I did I would do it on the bench press. When standing on the treadmill there is plenty of head room and that’s why originally I moved it there. Now then, I have always wished to own an Elliptical Cross-Trainer as their use lowers impact stress on joints and enables many other muscles to be exercised at the same time. The problem with these machines is their cost. A cheaper machine isn’t worth the purchase for anyone serious about their exercising but some of the top-of-the-range machines are quite expensive and can reach £10,000 or more to buy. Something far less expensive would be better if I were to purchase one and preferably one on offer at an even lower price. So with that in mind I searched the Internet and found something suitable. It had many features and had been reduced in price from £1890 to £999 making it within the reach of what I was prepared to pay. I made the purchase and it will be here by the time you are reading this. The machine will probably benefit E insofar as it is easier for her to use and will give her the exercise opportunity she needs. Although she has started using the treadmill (for extremely slow walking) and the bicycle on its stand she will find the new machine to be better. The picture above shows the model I purchased. Our boiler room is turning out to be a proper little gymnasium! One thing I have yet to do is to install a power point where I wish to keep the Trainer for at the moment there aren’t any close-by.

Shirley Anne

They can’t wait

Downstairs a little later on Wednesday even though I was up and out of bed before eight. Being a woman it takes longer sometimes to get ready for the day! Still, I wasn’t dressed in my day clothes when I did get downstairs, I was dressed for working out on the treadmill or other things. Although I wasn’t really in the mood for running I made the effort as I always do and as I always do I feel great for doing it. It’s psychological I suppose. Anyway that done it was time for breakfast after which I got ready to go for a walk. Wednesday was a lovely sunny day but it was cold at 5 deg C with a slight northerly wind making it feel even colder. I was well-wrapped up though and prepared to enjoy the walk despite the cold. Part of the walk included my ending up at the pier. There were very few people out and about, especially down on the sea front where it was exposed to the wind. It didn’t matter to me, I walked the length of the pier, which in Southport is quite a long way….
Southport Pier is a Grade II listed pleasure pier located in Southport, Merseyside, England. First opened in August 1860, it is the oldest iron pier in the country and spans a length of 1,108 metres (3,635 ft), making it the second-longest in Great Britain after Southend Pier. Although at one stage reaching out 4,380 feet (1,340 m), a succession of storms and fires during the late 19th and early 20th century have reduced its length to that of the present day. (Extract from Wikipedia)’

At the time of writing the pier has been undergoing extensive maintenance to its ironwork and the work has been in progress for a couple of months. It will take a few more months I guess to complete the work. I spoke with one of the guys working there who told me that although the work is good (you’ve got to enjoy your work!) it was ‘Bl***y freezing’ he quipped! I left him to it and started back home which would be to the right along the shoreline and off the picture above. On the way home I paid a visit to the pub as I wanted a drink and the use of their toilet, though not necessarily in that order! It was packed with diners inside in the warmth. I stayed at the bar and off the carpet as I was wearing dirty boots. It was decorated for Christmas inside with two very large trees. It was still November. I thought it too early for Christmas decorations but it seems with each passing year it gets earlier. I suppose people are just too keen to begin the Christmas festivities. It’s a pity many don’t believe in Christ. He seems to have been left out of His own birthday celebrations (at the pub) once again, for nowhere could be seen anything to indicate the reason for the season. With a sigh I left for home and dwelled upon the weeks ahead and all that will go on during that time and into the new year.

Shirley Anne

Slowly recycling

English: A contradiction in terms! Whatever go...
A contradiction in terms! Whatever goes through the minds of the people who put up these signs? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I seem to be getting faster in my treadmill regime, running quicker, longer and further and slowly improving all the time. Sounds a contradiction in terms but progress has to be slower rather than quicker, building stamina takes time. It isn’t that my stamina was ever low but having neglected the stricter regime I had until a few months ago it dropped off somewhat. Now it is slowly improving with each session I have. Being an active person exercising has never been a problem for me. If I wasn’t working I would be exercising most of the time. Nothing has really changed over the years, I am still actively working at home now that I have retired from the electrical industry and my exercising continues. My latest trend has been clearing out unwanted items and materials, things we have accumulated over the years and stored in various places around the house. The advantages of having a large house are often outweighed by the inclination to ‘put things away in case they might be useful one day’. Worse still we have cellar rooms which are very handy for storing things then forgetting about them until the rooms become cluttered. When we stripped out the main bathroom three and a half years ago most if not all of the timber that was removed was stored in the cellar. I have always tended to keep timber because it is often useful and has been very useful when I have been engaged in projects at home. Why buy new when there is plenty in storage? Having said that I am now beginning to rationalise my stock of used timber and taking what I no longer need to the recycle centre. My now empty van is worth its weight in gold when it comes to clearing out the house. On Friday morning after much exercising on the treadmill E and I emptied out a bench seat we have which was stocked full of telecom, computer and power cables together with routers, old computers and computer equipment, and power adapters none of which are now of any use and we loaded them into the van. The broken dishwasher was already in the van waiting to be dumped. We had removed a lot of timber from the cellar and loaded that on the van together with bags of old clothes and odds and ends. We drove to the recycle centre and dumped it all. Much still remains to be disposed of but it is a slow process and will take time to complete. It may take months but there is no hurry. I am just happy it is getting done

Shirley Anne

Dining room 3 and things

After months of neglecting my exercise regime and letting things slip a little too much I got myself back on track following a recent visit to see my doctor. The results of that visit had no bearing on my reasons to resume regular exercising but it did serve to remind me of my shortcomings in letting it lapse. Now I am back to disciplining myself as I know I ought. My regime follows along these lines, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I take at least thirty minutes, more often longer on the treadmill running and building up or maintaining stamina. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I take long walks. On Sundays I take a walk too but it is not usually a long one. On the days I use the treadmill I will often take a short walk too. At other times I keep busy working on projects at home or doing some gardening. Naturally if I am socialising I have to fit my exercising in where I can. Over the last few days I have been busy decorating in the dining room, that is painting the ceiling and by Wednesday lunchtime I had it almost completed. What little there was to touch up I left off doing until Thursday morning at which time I would dismantle the scaffolding tower and store it away in the garage until the next time it was needed. Purchasing that tower was one of the best things I did for it has proven to be very useful both inside and outside of the house. Anyway here are a couple more pictures of the dining room ceiling….

 

 

Click on pictures to magnify. Just wondering what I shall do next….

Shirley Anne

Dining room 2

The title doesn’t infer we have two dining rooms I have to say before I go any further, no, it is just the second post about my current (well as I write this on Tuesday 21) project. It follows yesterday’s post. Now on Saturday as I mentioned then I began the work of changing the colour of the ceiling in the dining room. As you saw in the picture I started off painting it white but on Monday when resuming the work I discovered the paint wasn’t covering the existing crimson colour so I changed tack and switched to using a beige colour. Not only did it cover the crimson more effectively (though I had to re-touch here and there) it looked the better option too by matching and bringing out the oak-stained ceiling timbers. Naturally I had to over-paint the white I had used earlier. On Tuesday I managed to complete more than three-quarters of the work. and here are the pictures…

 

 

 


In the top picture you can see the street lamp-post in the garden which switched on at three forty-five as it was getting dark by then and that’s why and when I stopped work for the day. I needed daylight whilst painting the ceiling though I had to use the room’s lighting too at times. The second picture shows what remained to be done on Wednesday, apart from any touching-up that is. Also in the first two pictures I removed the small timbers which are fixed at an angle in order to make painting of the wall easier. You can see them replaced at the other end of the room after the wall there was painted. I had arisen very early on Tuesday morning as I wanted to take a five-mile walk before breakfast. I left the house fifteen minutes before six o’clock. On my return and after breakfast I began painting. Tuesday marked the anniversary of my birth too…..I am now 72!

Shirley Anne

Busy little bee

So what was I going to do on Monday? It was only a matter of a few months ago when I would be off somewhere doing an electrical job on a Monday morning. Now I can please myself but I have set myself a routine nevertheless, a routine to keep me in good health through exercising. Although I did exercise beforehand I had to fit that in between my work schedules, now it is the other way round, I exercise first then do whatever needs doing later. After getting dressed in my sport’s clothes I spent thirty minutes on the treadmill which I now do every second day and occasionally on other days. Likewise, if  I take a long walk, which I do also every second day, I still take short walks on other days too sometimes. I almost never take a long walk if I have spent time rigorously working out on the treadmill. The plan on Monday was to use the treadmill and perhaps take a short walk in the afternoon but things didn’t quite work out that way. Having changed into normal clothing for the rest of the day I decided to remove a faulty floodlight on the rear wall of the house and replace it with another further along the wall which too often was affected by the operation of the house boiler. Although it was distant from the exhaust of the boiler it would still be triggered to switch on sometimes so I thought it best to remove it altogether. There are still four remaining floodlights on the rear of the house which is adequate. I used an old ladder to do the work of removing the good floodlight but used one section of a much lighter aluminium ladder to do the rest of the work. The first ladder, which is constructed of galvanised steel, was far too heavy a ladder for general use and I wanted to be rid of it. I did that just after lunch. Another section of the same ladder is still hanging in the garage (see picture, it has yellow and white industrial bags stored on it)  and I will get rid of that next time I visit the tip. When the electrical work was finished I got the hacksaw and chopped the steel ladder into two pieces so that it would fit on top of the van. I fixed them to the roof rack and then filled the van with other items we were getting rid of, a gents bicycle (in good condition), an exercise bike (faulty), an old computer screen, two printers, an old electric drill and the tray from my neighbour’s faulty dishwasher. I took the gents cycle to The Salvation Army as it deserved a new owner being as it was in good condition. They took it from me.

A dishwasher containing clean dishes
A dishwasher containing clean dishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was about to go indoors for lunch when my neighbour called and asked if I could disconnect her faulty dishwasher as she was getting a new one later in the week. I was dressed in my overalls so took the opportunity to do the job then. It took me ages to remove the old washer from beneath the worktop as she had an old carpet on the floor which couldn’t be removed. Finally I got it out and removed the cable, the drain hose and the water supply pipe. However the valve controlling the supply water was faulty and I had to replace it temporarily so the water supply to the house could be maintained. She would use a plumber to install the new appliance. I took the faulty machine outside ready for collection but I wanted to see if parts of the tray could be used as spares for our own dishwasher. Unfortunately they couldn’t so that’s how it ended up in the back of my van ready for the tip. By the time I had returned from disposing the items it was approaching four in the afternoon. I’d had enough for one day.

Shirley Anne

A day of two halves

A day like this would have been better don’t you think?

Ah, Sunday morning and all tucked up under the duvet made me feel so secure and warm, The curtains drawn back allowed me to see the new day outside and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Rain was pelting against the glass of the windows forced relentlessly by the strong north-westerly winds. I tried to close my eyes again but it was now too late, time to get up and face the day. I was going for a walk, down along the beach and back along the coastal road this time. It was around eight-twenty as I stepped through the front door, I was well wrapped up to face the elements and needed to be, it would get worse before it got better! I walked the half-mile or so to the coast road and crossed over to walk through the sand dunes and onward to the beach. There was the watery and muddy paths to negotiate before I reached the sand and soon after I arrived there the wind picked up and became stronger, then the rain began to fall again. It had ceased raining by the time I set off but now it was back with a vengeance. Have you ever stood in a waterfall? I have and there on the beach it felt just the same. I stooped down to the sand to minimise the drowning I was being given but thankfully it lasted only a few minutes before easing off to be just light rain for ten minutes. I looked heavenward to see a bright blue sky, the clouds had blown over, well most of them. I made it to the point where I was to turn off the beach and as I did I saw several police, coast guard and ranger vehicles with their crews standing close by. I wondered if there had been an incident along the beach for as I had approached the turning off point I could see flashing amber lights in the distance ahead of me further along the beach. Whatever the event was about it looked as though it was all over. I continued with my walk and homeward bound. By the time I reached home the sun was shining, it was warmer and most of the sky was blue. It didn’t last too long however as by one o’clock it was cloudy again, then sunny, then cloudy…..a day of two halves.

Shirley Anne.

Sore bottom and stuff

It all seemed to happen at once on Thursday morning. I had retired to bed early on Wednesday night and was fast asleep by ten o’clock. Aside from being a little tired anyway I wanted to arise early in the morning so I could go into the cellar and exercise before breakfast. My new bike stand had arrived the previous afternoon and I wanted to see if it had been worth purchasing so it was the first piece of equipment I used. I didn’t spend too long peddling away and getting nowhere as the equipment intended and the main reason for that was I got a sore bottom after ten minutes. The problem lies with the seat. It is too hard on my nether regions so I either need to purchase something softer or modify it for comfort’s sake. Next I moved to the treadmill and spent thirty minutes working out on it. By the time I had finished my exercise routine E had come down for breakfast and she wanted to see the bike stand as she hadn’t taken a look the previous day. I ate breakfast and we both went downstairs to discuss things regarding the equipment we now have down there. E never used the treadmill until recently after years of my attempting to persuade her but now she has taken tentative steps to change that. It is her condition, spina-bifida, which has made it difficult for her to exercise but she is beginning to see the effort makes it worthwhile. She now spends a little time walking on the treadmill when she has the time. As for the bicycle, I doubt she will find that easy for at the moment she wouldn’t be able to get on it, even I find it difficult! We may have to manufacture or purchase a set of steps to make it easier to get on the bike. I went upstairs for a shower and to get dressed for the day. It was time to cast my vote in the local elections so I put on my walking boots and coat. After voting I decided I would go for a walk. While out on the walk I received a call from a guy who had asked me to do a small electrical job for him. He had called a few days earlier but had to cancel at that time. I arranged to go to his house as soon as my walk was over. I drove there at noon and was back home within the hour a little better off financially. When I arrived home the guy we were waiting for to complete the garage door installation was there and had begun work. The work was superficial, fitting the free  alarm we had been promised after we had purchased an extra nine years of guarantee cover and to fill in some gaps with silicone rubber. He was finished by one-thirty. After lunch E went shopping and I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.

Shirley Anne

Exercise

As my readers may know, I have always been keen on exercise. When young my preferences were for swimming and cycling but in later life, say my mid-thirties that changed to include running. I say running for in essence I ran too fast for it to be jogging. I figure jogging to be a warm-up exercise before running. However, that doesn’t mean jogging is in any way inferior, it isn’t and to be honest it is probably better. Too much running can lead to damaged knee joints and spinal problems whereas jogging is less damaging I feel. It is only necessary to raise the heart rate so far and for so long for it to be beneficial. Similarly walking at a quick pace is also great for the heart. I spent about twenty-one years running long distances but now my running is done on the treadmill and for much less a distance.

Years ago when my sons lived at home they liked to use the bench-press equipment. We didn’t own a treadmill at that time. They use their local gymnasium now where they have access to all types of equipment. Though the bench-press is still at home it is almost never used and certainly not by me. Having said that there are facilities on the bench for doing leg exercises if I wish to use them.

Next to the bench between it and the bicycle we have another leg exerciser. It is adjustable and is very effective in building up the leg muscles. Each footrest is pressed down alternately with the other and believe me it is hard-going. 

Finally there is the static bicycle frame which enables a road bike to be peddled indoors. For quite some time now I haven’t used the bike outdoors as all my outdoor exercising is done by going on long walks instead. Rather than let the bike stand in the garage unused I purchased the stand a week or so ago and it has been in use since.

It has the benefit of allowing the bike to be used outdoors if I want to. One piece of equipment I would like to have is the elliptical trainer but alas I never got around to buying one. Maybe one day if I live long enough! I used to say that if the weather was bad I could always exercise indoors, which I can but having purchased suitable outdoor clothing there isn’t an excuse not to go out walking now. Besides, I like walking in the rain knowing I am not going to get soaked through!

Shirley Anne