Meeting people

A Walk to Remember
A Walk to Remember (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was getting back into the routine of exercising yesterday, that would be Monday 18th and today I resumed my walking routine too. Quite often when I go out for a walk I meet someone who knows me, even when I am distant from home. That’s to be expected considering I have spent many years working in the area until earlier this year. Often I am taken by surprise when people approach and greet me by name for I can almost guarantee I have forgotten theirs. I remember their faces and even after they have reminded me that I worked for them and where they live I still cannot remember their names. So on Tuesday I planned to walk for five miles and headed northward on roads a little distance from the seafront. I passed along the Promenade to the other side of  the town centre then took another road off the main route. At this point I was greeted by a man walking his dog but I didn’t recognise him (or the dog!). “Hello Shirley Anne” he said as we approached each other. He was wondering why I was so far from home as I told him I take long walks frequently though not always in the same direction. He was doing likewise but as he admitted he was more or less obliged to so the dog could get the exercise. I think he enjoys it too. We parted company and I continued on my chosen route. As I headed toward the coastal road I met the same guy again walking toward me. He had taken a circuitous route which crossed mine so we were bound to pass by each other again. This time I quipped ” We’ll have to stop meeting like this” and he smiled. I apologised to him for not remembering his name and asked him what it was. His name was Andrew. He headed home and I headed for the beach, if you could call it by that name for at that point it is all grass! I could see the tide was turning and beginning to come in but the water was still far off. I walked the whole way back toward home on the beach until eventually the grass gave way to sand and I was standing beneath the pier. The water was much nearer there but still far enough away to allow me to continue to my exit point a mile away. A guy had come onto the beach near to the pier with his bicycle and had proceeded to fill a large bag with seaweed. There is always a lot of seaweed washed up on the beach. Saying hello I asked him why he was collecting it and he told me that he uses it as a compost in his garden. He told me he grows vegetables and that the seaweed is an excellent fertilizer as it contains high amounts of amino acids, iron and other nutrients ideal for his plants. I had thought he was collecting it to eat though no-one in their right mind would eat the seaweed that washes up hereabouts. Maybe it is safe to eat but I wouldn’t like to try it. I might consider trying it as a fertilizer though. I continued along the beach toward home thinking about seaweed as a fertilizer additive to our compost bin.

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

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

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

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

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


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

All about legs

leggy legs
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’. pics-947By 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.

Shirley Anne

A small thing but

A landlubbers pain in the neck. Carelessness -...
A landlubbers pain in the neck. Carelessness – NARA – 535331 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite often in life it is the small things which can cause the biggest problems. We tend to overlook the small things as insignificant but they can soon become large things which then demand our attention. The phrase ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ springs to mind. A small tear in a garment can lead to it being thrown away if it isn’t mended in time. Life is like that, everything is in decay but some things perish more easily don’t they? For some years now I have suffered with the occasional problem of having a trapped nerve in my neck. I might suddenly feel an ache in my back, arms or legs as I did a few weeks ago and wrote about it in a post. At first I used to simply bear the pain until it subsided and that often was for a couple of days. Then just as suddenly as the pains appeared they disappeared leaving me wondering the cause. One day I discovered that if I held my head in a certain position the pain would disappear and that led me to discover that doing neck exercises solved my pain problems. As I am over seventy years of age I am beginning to think the trapped nerve issue is simply age-related and that is probably true. In my younger days I never suffered this way, not even once. I awoke on Monday morning with a view to drive a few miles to an electrical job but as I dressed and ate breakfast I found I had problems with the muscles in my buttocks and lower back which made moving about very slow and painful. I did remember to do some neck exercises which eased the pain and in fact once I was moving about the pain seemed less of a problem. I am sure many of us could relate to feeling a little stiff when we get out of bed but I have found that as I have gotten older the problem is more frequent. Lying still on a bed for hours is going to promote stiffness so I suppose having a restless night in that respect isn’t such a bad thing after all. Anyway despite my exercising the pain still took some hours to subside. I did go to the job as it didn’t involve any form of strenuous work and I was back home after an hour or so. I spent the remainder of the day doing very little but wanting to move about so that I didn’t seize up completely! A bit like being between a rock and a hard place. Some choice eh?

Shirley Anne

Power to do

Every machine requires some form of continuously applied energy in order for it to keep operating. Once that energy is depleted the machine stops. If subsequently the machine is left idle for too long it may not restart so easily, some machines will seize up if left too long. I was thinking about this as I took a mid-morning walk on Sunday. The weather was fine and sunny though the biting north wind let me know it was still winter nevertheless. As I set out from home I usually walk in a northerly direction most of the time so that wind was in my face. The only consolation was the fact that it wasn’t a strong wind. There were few people about even though it was after nine-thirty but I guess many folk would be taking it easy indoors. As I approached the town centre there were more people out in the streets and some were in the bars having breakfast. I saw nobody taking any form of useful exercise, those walking about were doing so at a snail’s pace but there was a cyclist or two in racing garb doing some serious peddling. I was walking toward the beach front where the wind was more noticeable but as by now

Mature woman power walking in residential environs
Mature woman power walking in residential environs

I was walking in a southerly direction it was at my back. By this time I was feeling quite warm for I had been putting some effort into my stride, power walking if you like. A young girl passed me by as she jogged in the same direction but by the time she had reached the far end of the sea front where pedestrians have either to cross the road and continue inland or take to the beach itself I was only a hundred metres or so behind her. Considering the distance we had both travelled and the fact I was probably fifty years her senior, I think I did remarkably well. Had I been running I suppose I might have even kept pace with her for a short time at least. It has been years since I did any outdoor running though I do cover some miles on my treadmill occasionally. At seventy years of age I am of the opinion that exercise is of great benefit but too much is probably not good. As I ‘power walked’ along the sea front a middle-aged man was running in the opposite direction and as he passed I could see the pained look on his face. It was as though he was enduring his exercise rather than enjoying it. Now I know that running is hard work but I also know that it is a pleasurable thing to do. I really enjoyed every minute of it whether it be cold, wet and windy or nice and sunny. Perhaps this guy’s pained expression was his way of letting us know that he was really enjoying his run. One great thing about taking exercise is that I don’t have to watch the calories so much, exercise burns them off. I therefore eat well so that my machine will keep on running and not seize up!

Shirley Anne

Slow but sure

Slow, It Goes
Slow, It Goes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is mid-morning on Wednesday as I write down my thoughts. The pain in my back is slowly getting better, sometimes there is no pain at all then suddenly it lets me know I haven’t yet been completely healed. I continue with the exercises though I am beginning to think exercise of any kind at this moment will only serve to slow the healing process. It is a sobering thought to know that we can be incapacitated so easily if we are not careful. Being in a physically active occupation or simply being so active at home should make us more cautious and aware but sometimes we forget and we end up unable to perform even the simplest of tasks whilst healing. Often we don’t realise we have injured ourselves at the time and only realise something is wrong a day or two later. In that space of time between the injury and the realisation of it anything can happen to make things worse. I have just received a call from the guy in whose house I had been working on Thursday last week, the one with the heavy wooden ladder, he was bringing me up to date regarding his ordering of a replacement floodlight. I told him I was for the moment not available, explaining to him about my injury. He was very sympathetic and wished me a speedy recovery. He told me about the specific floodlight he has ordered, a remotely controlled unit and asked if I was able to check it out online. As it happened I had been sitting with my laptop and online when he called so I was able to search the site from which he had placed his order. It isn’t usual for people to ask me to check something online but this guy is practically online and on the telephone all the time in connection with his work. Ever wonder how car manufacturers source their vehicle lighting equipment? He works for a company who designs the lighting requirements and specifically the pricing of components down to the smallest parts for vehicles manufactured by the likes of Nissan and Toyota. Whilst I was there last week I noticed the pressure he was under from his boss to meet scheduled deadlines. I couldn’t work under that kind of pressure though I do work better when I am under pressure in line with my own work.

English: Full Steam Ahead Thoughts of escaping...
Full Steam Ahead Thoughts of escaping life in the slow lane as this steam traction engine heads north out of Pontefract towards the M62. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am available for work even now, should anyone ask, as long as it doesn’t require any form of lifting or moving of heavy objects. As for this guy’s floodlight, it will take a few days to arrive in response to his order and because he himself will be in Belgium until the middle of next week there is no immediate urgency. Hopefully I will be well recovered by the end of this week let alone the end of next week when he hopes I shall be able to accommodate. Such is life. I am planning to dine out today if I get no requests before lunchtime or two o’clock.

Shirley Anne

Oh to be young again!

A Soldier (lying down) performs a bench press ...
A Soldier (lying down) performs a bench press with a spotter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me get one thing straight, I am quite happy being me and being the age that I am. I have no problems with that, I have enjoyed my life as far as I was able and when I look back over the years I know I could have made better decisions but of course it is easy to say things like that with hindsight isn’t it? I think I am quite fit for a person my age and well surpass many my age in being active to the same extent as I am. I put that down to having been active in one way or another all of my life. My occupation keeps me active though I do admit to not being as active as I once was, that is only natural, I cannot keep pace with those much younger than myself. I first noticed the slowing down process a few years ago when out walking and being overtaken by younger people out doing the same. Their pace was not something I considered fast but it was fast enough for them to leave me behind! I tried walking at the same speed and found I couldn’t but I was 60 years old! At least I was out walking and not sitting around on my butt. Last November E and I purchased a new bathroom suite and shower. They were stored in one of the garages on delivery and soon afterward we took some of it indoors and stored it in a spare room upstairs. Two items were too heavy and awkward for E and I to take indoors, one was the unit for the hand basin which is quite wide and the other was the cardboard covered glass panels for the shower. At that time our two sons took the bath indoors for us because we couldn’t have done that either. I could have managed with the assistance of one of them but as they were both at home at the time they did it for us. I am not sure when we will have reached the stage in the bathroom project whereby we will want to fit these things but we had to arrange to get them upstairs so that they would be to hand when we are ready for them. A couple of weeks ago we asked our sons if they could do it for us but it had to be at a time when they were both available. That day was Sunday last. I had thought it would take them twenty minutes to carry the two items upstairs together but once I opened the garage door the eldest son walked in, took a hold of the rather large package containing the heavy glass and promptly walked out and straight up the stairs with it in minutes. His younger brother grabbed hold of the large box containing the basin unit, which was difficult to hold because of its dimensions and weight, and he too was off like a shot and straight up the stairs with it. Neither of them stopped for a breather and neither of them were out of breath! I think I would have need a stop along the way. I can remember a time when I could have done the move myself but that was a long time ago. Later our eldest son followed me into the cellar to see if I had any metal of the type he required for a small project he has but alas I hadn’t. However I was able to give him a long length of timber that he also required. While we were down there he talked about exercise and weight-lifting in particular as he took a hold of the weights we have down there. There is a bench-press with weights standing alongside the treadmill that has been there for years and was used by both our sons when they lived at home. I of course didn’t! He found it very easy to lift those weights as according to him they were far below what he was used to at the gym. I believe him. He had a go on the treadmill whilst he chatted with us and I operated the control in steps of 1 mph to a top speed of 11 mph. the limit of the machine. He coped well and even asked me to increase the inclination! He reached a heartbeat of 143 beats per minute when I switched it down to a more respectable speed level. He got off and I got on and did 6 mph for a couple of minutes and my heartbeat level reached 133. I found it easy to run on the machine, not because I have been using it lately for I haven’t had the time but because I am generally fit. Nothing like as fit as in my youth though!

Shirley Anne

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The danger is

Weight Gain 4000
Weight Gain 4000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many years ago I was actually what you might call ‘underweight‘ for my age and when I started work that weight remained low due to the nature of the work and the amount I did each week. No matter what I ate I could never gain weight, which was a good thing. When I left my first employment after 14 years I began to work in a completely different environment and at a much more relaxed pace. It wasn’t that I wanted the slower and more laid back approach to work but the nature of the work made it so. I began to gain weight, nevertheless although my weight rose by a stone (14 lbs) it remained constant at that weight for many years. I never considered myself to be overweight at any time but I still struggled with my waistline. They say that extra weight is first put on around the waist and the waist is the last place it comes off when losing weight. I can well believe that. As we get older we also get slower though I must say that I find I haven’t slowed down as much as I thought I would. It is hardly noticeable but what I will say is that I tire more easily and do less. Now the danger is that gaining weight can become far easier now that I am older. I like my food but I have to watch the amount I am eating and of course the type of food too. Whilst I am active in doing something I find food less an interest but once I become inactive my stomach reminds me that I need to put food into it! I have to discipline myself, I really do because I find myself indulging too much if I am not careful. Now wouldn’t it be nice if food in general had less calorific value? No chance, the foods we like usually have the most calories don’t you find? I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and they probably make up most of my intake. Protein is my next highest intake and lastly carbohydrates of which I try to keep to a minimum. My greatest weakness is bread which is pretty much off my menu these days and ice-cream which I have to confess isn’t but I try to keep that to a minimum. I love fish so I eat plenty of it. I guess I am leading a fairly healthy life and I eat sensibly, pies, cakes and puddings I almost never eat now and I still get plenty of exercise whether it be working or taking some other form of exercise. Someone once told me that I would be the fittest person in the graveyard the way I exercise so. One thing is certain, I won’t die because I am overweight!

Shirley Anne

Almost forgotten?

Two views of local Extension leaders drilling ...
 Extension leaders drilling in physical exercise in middies and bloomers, … 

With all the hard work I’ve been doing at home lately I’ve not really had the chance nor even felt like taking some exercise on the treadmill. I have been out on my bike a couple of times though and I have managed to take some exercise on the treadmill but not as much as I would like. I cannot overdo things however, that would be stupid. On Sunday morning after a nice extra lie in bed I dressed for some exercise on the treadmill and went straight to it. I surprise myself sometimes. Not thinking I would manage much I found the opposite to be true! As long as I don’t leave it too long between sessions on the treadmill I find I can pretty much take off where I left it. I found the same to be true when doing outdoor running too, often going far more than I’d anticipated. I suppose it is down to stamina. At the moment I am building up my stamina through hard work most of the time. Use it or lose it is the key phrase. Sitting on one’s butt and stuffing one’s face with food may be some people’s idea of living it up but it’s not mine much as I like doing those things sometimes. No, I discipline myself and try to do what is sensible, after all it is only myself who will suffer any consequences of a bad lifestyle. I think I am quite a fit person for my age, in fact I know I am. There are not many women my age who could do what I do physically speaking. I know many women my age who really look their age as they say and lack the stamina I have. Many are far too overweight and it is usually down to the way they have lived their lives. They have all sorts of physical ailments which a normal healthy person doesn’t have and they suffer as a result. I wonder why people choose to be they way they are, for it is a lifestyle choice. A week or so ago E and I were in a carvery having lunch, well dinner to be precise when we noticed a couple of, shall we say, ‘extra-large’ women. They were so large they had to sit  on the lounge furniture away from the main dining area. Now you would think they might have limited their meal to something small or even a salad but no, their meals looked twice the size of mine! On another occasion three rather large people came into the same carvery with a child, two women and one man. The women filled their plates to capacity and the man likewise but he left the table after finishing his meal and returned a couple of minutes later with another plate full of food! He even complained that he couldn’t have extra meat unless he paid for it! One can eat as much vegetables as one likes in these establishments but very few take up that offer, I mean isn’t one plate of food enough? Apparently not for some people though.

Shirley Anne

Strange aches and pains

Get First Aid At Once^ Big Aches From Little I...
Get First Aid At Once^ Big Aches From Little Injuries Grow – NARA – 534135 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have often gotten aches and the occasional pain throughout my working life but they have always been caused by the exercising of my muscles when working and not because of an inherent health problem. I have taken these in my stride as they are part of a working life that is physically demanding and quite normal. Whatever we do physically places a strain on our muscles, which is right if taken in moderation. Sometimes we overdo things and usually pay the price a day or so later. I have always found that to be somewhat odd, that the pain through overtaxing ourselves follows many hours later and not immediately. However whilst I am used to these ‘normal’ pains I am finding other aches and pains befalling me which I am not used to. People tell me that it is due to age and perhaps they are right but I still have some doubts about that. For instance I have been getting some odd pains lately, cramps in some of my toes, a twinge around one of my elbows which comes and goes or has been lately at random times. I had one in my waist on the left-hand-side recently which appeared regularly every five minutes or thereabouts for about half an hour and then ceased. They all seem quite random and harmless but nevertheless annoying. I never notice such pains and twinges whilst I am exercising or working so perhaps they are brought about by inactivity. That could be true because I often get them when lying in bed before I go to sleep. I haven’t been awakened by pains so I assume they don’t manifest themselves whilst my muscles are in a totally relaxed state, as in sleep. Over the last two weeks I have been suffering with pain in my right upper arm muscles but it isn’t due to overworking them. I am finding it painful to raise my arm to any height or reach behind my back for any reason but I think I know what the problem is as I have had a similar problem within the past four years. A trapped nerve. The last time I suffered from a trapped nerve was about four years ago and it made walking difficult and painful. At that time I was finding it difficult to do my job too and one day had to be helped back to my feet from  the kneeling position I was in whilst working. That problem was caused by a nerve being trapped in my neck. This time it appears I have one in my upper arm. There is little that can be done other than having some physiotherapy, that is by moving my muscles (arms) in a certain way to promote self-healing. That was offered to me when I had the trapped nerve in my neck but by the time anyone could see me the problem disappeared by itself! I am thinking the same thing will happen this time, at any rate the pain has subsided quite a bit since it started but it hasn’t yet disappeared altogether. I look at it this way, there are far more people in the world with ailments far worse than mine. Mine are just an inconvenience whilst others have to suffer theirs all their lives.

Shirley Anne