Sunday rest?

During Saturday I had been suffering with pain in the muscles of my lower back or lumbar region. There had been no obvious reason why it came about for I had not done any strenuous work or put my back under any form of stress. As with other times in my life muscular pain usually arrived a day or two after the cause. Only a couple of weeks ago as I recall I had a similar problem. Everything was fine if I remained standing on my feet or if I lay down just as it was this time also. If I sat down I had problems trying to get off the chair or sofa. So Saturday wasn’t pleasant at all. Now it was Sunday and the pain had eased just a little but still let me know it was there when trying to stand from a seated position. Once up and about there was no problem and that is why I hadn’t been suffering after going for a walk. What could it be I asked myself? Then I remembered that on Friday I spent some time on the cross-trainer, the treadmill and the cycling machines, even though I had been for a long walk earlier in the morning. My guess though is that the cross-trainer was the culprit. I had spent much more time on that than the other two machines. As I wasn’t doing much more than a brisk walk on the treadmill and hadn’t exerted myself on the cycle machine it had to be the cross-trainer if it was any of them.

The combination exercise and movements on a trainer are not natural, nobody walks or runs as they do on a trainer. I said when I first bought the machine that I had to approach it with caution and slowly build up the regime over time. That I promised myself I would do after first using it and ending up with aches and pains a day or so later. I seems obvious to me therefore that I had forgotten to take my own advice but to be fair I had used it many times since that first time with little or no consequential problems.

So Sunday was also spent doing very little at all which was a good thing. I did some baking though, just to keep my hand in……ahem!

Shirley Anne

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Surprise, surprise!

Having ordered my new tablet and expecting its arrival in a week’s time (24 – 31 Dec) it arrived today on the 22 nd. Haven’t used it as I write for it is charging the battery. It feels a lot lighter in weight than the old machine and slimmer too. I wonder how they cram everything into such a small frame. Computers in general have taken great strides in development since the days of the Vic 20, Commodore 64 and others and many times more powerful and versatile. Since becoming mobile they have not lost anything being no longer tethered to the power supply. It shouldn’t take me long to get to know my new tablet.

It was Saturday and I wanted to get on with the work in the cellar again. I was plastering in the various holes in the walls and ceiling prior to getting out the paintbrush but it was taking such a long time to do. I spent a couple of hours down there and made a lot of progress though there was still more to do and I planned on continuing with it until it was finished but I was taken ill. I thought I had contracted the ‘vomiting bug’ though I didn’t vomit anything. The symptoms were similar, severe stomach pains, dizziness, feeling light-headed, nauseous and suffering hot and cold sweats but it turned out I had trapped wind! I was in agony but thankfully everything went back to normal after a short time. Not pleasant at all. I decided to leave finishing off the plastering for the day and took the weekend off. I would probably do it on Monday instead.

Shirley Anne

A pain

My experiences with computers have been somewhat of a pain the proverbial over the years. They either work very well, occasionally have tantrums or simply refuse to work as they should. Well the latest problem has been with my tablet. I have two lap-top computers, the one I am writing this post with, the Acer which is running Windows 7 and the other a HP which is running Windows 10. The latter gathers dust most of the time because I prefer Windows 7 which is far easier to use and isn’t cluttered with useless applications. It is practically new even though it is two years old as it hardly gets used. The other computer I own is the tablet a Samsung Nexus 10 which is running one of the Android platforms. Well it was running until recently. It was used mainly for taking photos or for tuning the guitar though it was capable of much more. Suddenly I found it wasn’t starting up properly and kept booting up then shutting down. Having done a factory reset the problem still remained. I did suspect the battery to be faulty and it may still be and I will get that checked when I’ve the time. In the meantime I thought I would treat myself to a new tablet so I purchased a Lenovo of the same physical size but running the latest Android program. It may arrive before Christmas but that doesn’t matter. All I want is something reliable.

So no more taking pictures for a week or so until it arrives. Today is Thursday 20 th and I have taken another break from work. I had been to do the shopping earlier in the day and on returning home felt miserable with aches and pains from head to chest. I guess it may have been the weather and a lack of food though I had eaten breakfast. It is mid-afternoon now and I am feeling great but it is too late to be starting work so I hope that tomorrow morning I will be able to continue with the hallway in the cellar which has been coming along quite nicely.

Shirley Anne

More rest

My day yesterday (29 th) wasn’t pleasant at all as those who read my post will know. Although I had been a bit poorly I had to take the opportunity when there was a lull in the bad weather to take down the tunnel I had previously erected over the longer patio flowerbed. I took this picture through the kitchen window the following morning. It shows the bamboo canes I placed over the two Phoenix Canariensis Plants there which will need the frost protection. 

You can also see two of the other three plants of the same variety covered over with plastic bubble-wrap. The fourth is out of sight to the left of the picture. On reflection erecting the tunnel had proved to be a bad idea though only because it had been too exposed to the high winds we had been experiencing. In a more sheltered spot it would have been a different story. Lesson learned. Today as I write I hope to be able to wrap the two ‘wigwams’ with bubble wrap which won’t take long  as the wind dies down a little. Though it had been windy during the week it had been quite warm over the last couple of days so there was no hurry to wrap the plants. If the weather was going to be reasonably fine I thought I might finish the lawn feature by filling it with the pebbles which had finally been delivered. The work in the small store was on temporary hold until I purchased more materials and of course made steps to cure that floor leak from the wet room above. Having said all that I was prepared to take more rest instead, at least for that day. 

Shirley Anne 

Sorry but…..

‘I’m sorry Shirley Anne but it’s just got to go’, I told myself on Thursday morning. It was a very miserable day on Thursday just as it had been a couple of days earlier, wet and windy, very windy. I had gone to bed the evening before feeling rather down and tired and hoped the new day would be an improvement but it wasn’t. I was feeling a little down because I was tired and some of the events in the day had given me some irritation. It had been one of those days as we say. So Thursday promised better things but it didn’t fare that way for me. In the first place I woke up with a horrible bout of Cystitis and all that comes with it. I have an interim solution for Cystitis which helps until I can get some medication if I haven’t any to hand but it only helps soothe the burning sensation and kill the surface bacteria. It was enough to allow me relief until I went shopping later. However, back to the foul weather. No matter what I tried to hold down the tunnel structure over the patio the wind loosened it and I would have to try something else. There was no way I would get the upper hand and I knew it. When the weather is less windy all is fine but the wind destroys and shows no mercy. Did I mention I hate the wind? Well I do. So what’s got to go? The tunnel. As soon as the weather would allow I would be out there removing it and mark it down as a failure. What would take its place? Well I mentioned that I think in yesterday’s post. Two tee-pees or wigwams if you prefer would replace the one tunnel and should hopefully withstand the wind better. Oh the joys of gardening eh? I did no work on Thursday for not only did I have nether regions problems but I was feeling the effects of maybe a cold but definitely the bad weather. 

Shirley Anne 

Hungry

A couple of months ago I had to pay the doctor a routine visit for a fungal infection on my big toes. Whilst there she advised I have another blood check but as I wasn’t at that time due for such a test she post-dated it. On Friday (27 th) I visited the nurse at the surgery to give a blood sample and as it was for lipid levels I couldn’t eat anything for twelve hours prior to the sample being given. It turned out that I hadn’t eaten for seventeen hours by the time I was at the surgery. Naturally I was feeling quite hungry on my return home. Even so I didn’t eat more than I would normally do at breakfast (break-fast). As the appointment was for eight-fifty the first thing I ate was at breakfast time, though a little belated breakfast time for me. The danger in fasting is the temptation to over-indulge when the fast is over. It sets the trend for more overeating and we end up putting on weight. If we eat too much at a sitting our stomach stretches to accommodate the food so that at the next meal we feel the need to fill it too much once more else we still feel hungry. If our stomach is full we feel satisfied therefore it is sensible to eat small amounts frequently rather than gorging down large quantities which stretch the stomach. Obviously the type of food we eat is important too if we are to feel satisfied. In today’s society, here in the UK at least, we are faced with encouraging signs to eat more instead of eating sensibly. A point in question, I have found that most of the ‘fish and chip’ shops I have visited throughout my life encourage us to eat more by supplying larger portions of chips than we actually want. When I have asked for a smaller portion I find the person serving me has difficulty in doing that. It is as if they have to give large portions to justify the prices they charge. Why not supply smaller portions at a lower price for those who want them? If there is someone with me, like E for instance, we buy one portion and share and even then there is often too much in the portion. Is it any wonder people are becoming overweight when because they receive larger portions they feel the need to eat it all? It would seem a waste otherwise wouldn’t it? Feeling hungry is one thing but feeling a large waist is another!

Shirley Anne

Pins and needles

Just sitting here waiting for the pins and needles to go from my right hand. My hand is slowly beginning to feel normal once more now that I am hitting the keys writing this. I often used to wonder what exactly pins and needles were but now I know. It is the blood returning under pressure to areas which have temporarily lost circulation. In this case I had been resting on my right arm and my hand went numb! One of the strangest feelings I have ever had regarding pins and needles, and it has happened a few times in my life, was when I lost all feeling to either my right or my left foot. In those cases I couldn’t feel my foot at all for quite a while and attempting to walk was really amusing. Have you ever tried to stand on a foot you cannot feel? Slowly the blood returns and the pins and needles are felt and sometimes there is the urgency to visit the lavatory! I wonder why my brain thinks I have to visit the lavatory because I have pins and needles in my foot? We are very strange beings aren’t we?
I wasn’t going to write about pins and needles initially but as I had them at the start of writing it seemed logical to mention them. I was going to write about my very early start to the day having gotten up out of bed at a couple of minutes before four o’clock. I was fast asleep a short time after my head hit the pillow at nine the previous evening so the early rise simply followed. It has become my routine lately to go to bed early and rise early. I didn’t eat breakfast but went directly into the rear garden to water it, especially the grass. When I returned indoors I prepared for my early morning walk and was out the front door at five-twenty. I speeded things up this time by walking as briskly as I could and found myself back home at six-fifty. That meant I had covered the four and a half miles of my chosen route in an hour and a half, three miles per hour. Not bad I thought considering my age. When I looked in the mirror on my return home I was as red as a berry! Not much wrong with the blood circulation after the walk! I hadn’t been wearing heavy clothing, just my lightweight summer stuff. My breakfast tasted all that much better after the exercise.

Shirley Anne

I gotta get out of this place

…if it’s the last thing I ever do. Yes a familiar line from an old song which I think if I can remember was by a group called ‘The Animals’ with a front man called Eric Burden. It was recorded in the mid-sixties. Now I am showing my age which for those who wish to know is 72. As I write this it is Wednesday morning on the fourth of July. Now there’s a familiar date. Greetings to all my American friends, which by that I mean all of you living there. Okay I am two weeks late but the date doesn’t matter. By the way I greet all people the same no matter from where they hail. I am stuck at home though stuck isn’t probably the right word to use, perhaps left at home might be more apt. E has gone to stay with her mom for a few hours whilst her brother, who lives with his mom, has somewhere he needs to go. I am not really sure why he still lives at home with his mom for he is I think 60 years old. Life has dealt him a few bad cards over the years and I guess things just fell into place and kept him living there. E doesn’t speak much about him and I haven’t even seen him for well over twenty years. That’s what happens when families don’t stick together and support each other. There are reasons of course, many are too self-centred and have bigoted feelings. I don’t know why people are like that, after all we are all in the same boat. All you need is love. Now where have I heard that one before? I am not sure many folk know what real love is. If you’ve an ear I can tell you but I don’t wish to preach, not in this post anyway. I see folk going about their daily business and often wonder what it is they think about, what their focus on life is. One day they will, we all will, leave this place and everything in it and in fact it will be the last thing we ever do won’t it? Once more it is a beautifully sunny day, probably going to be too hot again for me if I’m honest. I am maybe thinking I should get out of this place, that is my house and go for a walk somewhere but do you know, I am not sure I will feel better for it. It is late in the morning as I finish this post. I haven’t eaten breakfast because I wasn’t hungry when I got up but I am feeling a little hungry now. After I have eaten I will be ‘reviewing the situation’, (yes, from Oliver Twist, the musical). Have a really nice day my readers.

Shirley Anne

Complete opposite

It isn’t unusual that one day can be so different from the previous one. Many of my days follow a set pattern and nothing much is different between them but there are days which flip the trend. Doing something new or something that hasn’t been done for a while make a day different but other things can do just the same. In yesterday’s post I talked about taking a walk in the rain. At the time it felt good but today, that is Sunday (aka Father’s Day this particular Sunday 17 th) I think I am paying the price! I have been feeling ‘run down’, tired and listless and all I want to do is sit and relax, even take a nap! I just feel drained of energy and am assuming the cold of yesterday has had a negative affect on my health. Hopefully it won’t last but for today at least I am putting up with it. Fortunately I haven’t been bored by just sitting around for the television came to the rescue. Not everyone is interested in soccer but I am not one of them. I am not a fanatic as some might be but I do enjoy watching a good game and this summer there are plenty to watch during the FIFA World Cup championships. This year as all will know it is being held in Russia. I would like to see England do well but it has been so many years since they have. To be honest I don’t support or follow any particular country’s team even my own, I just like watching good football. However if there is something else to do I will abandon the television unless it is the final game which I would probably take time out for. So here I am late on Sunday afternoon waiting for the next game to begin in the next ten minutes writing this and listening to records by various artists from the sixties on Vintage Tv. They are all remembered and bring back my memories from those wonderful days in my life. I remember how it was for me and how I had lacked determination to follow the path in life I perhaps should have taken instead of the one I did. Missed opportunities I regret and yet life has been good despite all the negative things that have happened in my life since then. Today I am happier than I thought I’d ever be and content with life. Tomorrow will be even better…and I am feeling better already.

Shirley Anne

Back home

It’s to not myself I am referring but my next-door neighbour. If my readers will remember I mentioned she had been taken to hospital in an emergency after she had difficulty in breathing. She had been and still does rely on her oxygen bottles else she would die. Her condition has been brought about by smoking and not being able to desist after being repeatedly told by her doctor to stop. She is I think around 81 years of age. After being informed she would be coming home then later told she would have to stay in hospital and later still that she would have to spend the rest of her days in a care home. Finally on Monday last (4 th) she came home late in the afternoon. E and I didn’t pay her a visit until the following day that is after she had settled in. Though she is at home she receives palliative care and is visited daily by care workers and a district nurse who visits less frequently. E and I visited her again today, that is Sunday as I write. She is upbeat about her situation and for someone who is seriously ill she is as lively as ever. Physically she has lost quite a lot of weight though she wasn’t well-built in any case beforehand. Whilst we talked with her she kept losing her breath even though she had her oxygen supply. Any exertion, even slight and she is gasping for air. It is a sad affair but little more can be done for her other than what she receives. She is always happy to see us though and we keep her laughing and in good spirit. Obviously we help in any way we can. She hinted that she would like the tv up on the wall so I told her I would fit a shelf to take it. Buying a special wall bracket, if one could be purchased for that tv would be too expensive and not worth it. I will also help her son to remove the old and faulty built-in fridge/freezer so we can install the replacement unit. Both jobs are simple and shouldn’t take long to do. E and I will continue to keep an eye on her and help as we are able.

Shirley Anne