Inspired by a post Melissa, of Black’s Barre  made in relation to morning routine I am adding some strength training to the walking.  I need to have good tone & strength too, and this is a spring board to being able to do more activities next year – not least of which would be one of Melissa’s classes!

I wasn’t anticipating making it through level 1 of the training app that I’m using, but I did and without feeling like I was failing.  I did get a sweat on, so obviously I was doing something physical!

Routine, habit and persistence are going to be key to achieving my goal and at present I’m worried about fitting this into my schedule once I’m back at work.  I guess keeping the chunks bite-sized will be key.  So far I’m 2 for 2, so 100% success.


Fitter @ 40

There is an honest to god fat person in the mirror.  I find it startling and unsettling.  There is this large woman occupying the space that is me in photographs.  I’ve always felt a bit out-of-the normal, standing a little over six feet tall.  Statuesque.  But now I see something like a caricature, over-blown.

There are reasons why it got this way.  An autoimmune condition that effects both metabolism and mental attitude, an unfortunate broken ankle followed 24 months later by a car accident that left me with concussion and soft-tissue injuries in every joint on my right side, but these are the signposts on the path to here, not the route map.  I am in charge of that.  It’s time to take a new path.

I occasionally read the ‘Fit in My 40’s’ column in the Guardian and find it intensely irritating.  Perhaps I missed the bit where the author wasn’t fit?  I suppose the germ of the idea came from that.  How can a really unfit person, a person in their 40’s change that?  I’d love to complete the #walk1000miles challenge too.  So between low impact, lower intensity exercise and taking it s l o w l y, perhaps I can return to feeling fit and strong?

I have a goal, but for the first time in a long, long time it is not a weight-based goal, but a fitness based one.  I am committed to doing a 20 mile walk in the close of this year, when daylight availability is at its least plentiful and there is a more than fair chance that it will be wet.  I’ve deliberately chosen a walk that is low level and accessible by car and in a populated (but not populous) place, the last leg of the Fife Coastal Walk, walking a path through my childhood on my way to a fitter future.  I want to enjoy it not slog it. I want to be able to get up the next day and still enjoy the day, and the year to come.

Previous attempts to improve physical wellbeing have been very testosterone driven and full on which has led to rapid overwhelm and defeat, so I’ve taken the time to find programmes that can accommodate where I am now and gradually step up the intensity.  I’m using  the British Heart Foundations walking programme, starting at week 3 of the beginner programme and planning on progressing through the intermediate one until I reach the goal on the 30th December.  It’s my Christmas present to myself as well as my birthday gift.

Today: The Sea!

Himself has never been to Whitby.  He’s also a fan of all things vampiric.  So, to Whitby!

Lack of a flippin’ map was, again, an issue with the sat-nav taking us a very odd route.   Anyway, we parked up at the abbey and there were oohs and aahs, but we decided to save the actual touring if the abbey for a less meltingly hot day.  We walked down the steps and through the madding crowds and had a seriously decent lunch at The Whitby Deli, and have vowed to return.  We wandered on enjoying the warmth and the views, stopping to sit and listen to the Morris competition while gazing off to sea.  We took a closer look and then wandered to the end of the pier.  I’m still slightly confused as there was not a howling gale, a Whitby first for me.  In fact we were having a sunglasses disaster as himself only had his driving ones…

Off in search of good coffee and cake (and reluctant to scale the hill back to the Deli) we wandered to the station.  On our return leg we stopped at Crumbs and Cobbles, which was a rather disappointing effort.  Immediately after we discovered several other interesting options, all requiring further investigation in the future.

I achieved over 11,000 steps, so feeling virtuous too.

We sort of made up the drive home, and we made it, with only a minor detour.  An evening of decent Chinese take-away and Bake Off.  Himself was asked which if the tree challenges I should copy and he’s opted for mirror cake, so going to see how that goes next week and I have got to attempt the Jaffa cakes.  There may be quite a lot of cake to be eaten next week.

Ruth’s cardigan was again consigned to the back seat due to exceptional sunshine and heat!

Other highlights included spotting The Blue House of hen weekend loveliness while standing admiring the view from Abbey car park and getting close up action viewpoints of cormorants and jellyfish

Mini-tour: Day 2

Admin called this morning, so Himself did What Needed To Be Done and I rehabilitated the blog.

We nipped into Richmond and discovered that the library is like a TARDIS.  It contains, in it’s vastness, the local tourist information point.  I scavenged the shelves, himself got distracted by the books and we were disappointed in our search for maps, although I did manage to get hold of a town walk guide.  The town walk appears at first glance to be a turn round the square with a detour to the castle.  A trip to Mountain Warehouse still left us mapless.  WH Smith had maps, but not the right maps…  Although we have made do with the wrong maps…  Lunch was at a cafe in the square, Penleys, who had an extensive menu of lunch-ish offerings.  Food was plentiful and I was envious of Himself’s hot beef ciabatta.  We did have a bit of a wait though…

A drive to Reeth followed.  It’s very dramatic, Reeth.  It was also very, very hot.  Just as well they have an ice cream parlour.  My strawberry left me underwhelmed but the pecan praline was rich in oozy toffee nutty goodness.  The chocolate was amazing and an inspired banana and mango was divine.  Alas they belonged to not me.

I had decided, in my wisdom and sans map, that Hawes would make a good next stop.  Coordinates were entered into the sat-nav and off we toddled….  Up a very narrow single track lane.  We went up…and up…and up…  My car has a very interesting not-a-handbrake.  Himself doesn’t normally drive my big car.  There was a steep hill.  We stalled.  Cue swift driver change half way up the hill.  It was a bit touch and go but we made it.

We made it to Hawes.  Also pretty.  We legged it to the wool shop.  It was not the wool shop I needed.  It was the Herdy shop.  Full of Herdy branded things.  We rushed onwards.  Having finally reconnected with the inter-webs we realised I needed the Shop On The Bridge.  It’s the tiniest wee shop full of knitting and sewing booty.  And had the circular needles that I needed.  Phew.

We didn’t do a great deal but we saw a lot.  Drove past Asgarth falls signs and Bolton castle looked impressive on the skyline.  We’re both knackered.  Tesco provided picnic tea.  Feet up and kettle on.  And might just start a Hitchhiker.  I haven’t got one.  I may be the only knitterest on the planet who does not have one.  I broke the no yarn rule, too.  Oops.

Ruth’s cardi was with us but given the baking hotness it stayed in the car.



A mini adventure

This week I’m having a mini break in Richmond, North Yorkshire.  This somewhat out of necessity as Mr H has some admin to take care of and the accommodation is free.  Other hampering features are a) I’m feeling a bit pealy-wally and b) we’re broke at present.  And I don’t have the right sized needle tips…  We may have a hidden independent yarn shops of North Yorkshire agenda…

We arrived yesterday and installed ourselves in Mr H’s rather well appointed room.  I think he is constantly surprised that I quite like it!  Anyway, the sun came out and before we lost the last of the sunny spell we went for a lovely walk at Hudswell Woods.

Hudswell Woods are managed by the National Trust and there are a few different walks of varying effort and condition.  We walked over the river Swale (I think, it was definitely a river though!) in full spate.  With summer trees and sun it looked idyllic.  Himself would have scrambled over muddy rocks but I was happy to wander along the banks and admire the trees and sky.  We’ll be back.

The plan for Tuesday had been an epic adventure but may be scaled down to a shorter trip to tourist info followed by a drive to Reeth & Hawes.  There is a LYS in Hawes…

Hey Joe!

Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?

Seriously?  You must have *something* better to do. This is seriously bourgeois.  It talks about angst, knitting and cocktails and has occasional overtones of guardian-reader academic poseur.


If you work really, really, really hard I’ll tell you where the seriously good stuff is <cough>…!!!

Miss B.


You did *what*!!!!????

I have a broken ankle.  I was quite sober and mindful when I turned my ankle on a pothole.  There may have been a brief shriek.  I felt sick.  I drove home.  Despite the offers of help from colleaugues and passers by.  It seemed entirely logical at the time.  The bizarest part is that I would swear it didn’t hurt.  Despite feeling cold and clammy and like I was about to throw-up.  This continued.  On removing boot and sock and looking at, what then appeared to be, an entirely unremarkable ankle I was assisted to my sofa, bursting into tears for ‘no good reason’.  Hmmm….  Even when sitting in Casualty I wass just about ready to head home because ‘it was fine’…  It took two separate medical professionals telling me that I did indeed have a broken ankle before I even began to begin contemplating the reality of the situation.  And even then that was tenuous.  It is in fact only now, some weeks later, that it is really hitting home.  I have a broken ankle.  Normal service has been disrupted.  The picture is fuzzy.  It may remain that way for a period of time.

There are some small compensations.  Mostly the reaffirmation of the kindness of strangers and the general goodwill of most people.  But that’s about it really.  Oh, and I’m getting to have a lot of baths…

When the west wind moves…

I remember. I remember as you were, pale and golden and shining bright. You had my heart, you held my hand and you were proud and exultant.
I was really only a child. I hadn’t realised how much I was just a girl until now. Naive, insecure, optimistic, opinionated, articulate, blithe and full of hope and faith.

It reads like a melodrama. I suspect it is a melodrama. It can’t have been much else, what with the handsome hero, swashbuckling through the establishment and the pretty breathless girl, learning to slay her own dragons.
I had never truly realised that it went both ways and that I was your hero too. That I stood in the sunlight and protected you from your own dark horrors.
I’m so, so sorry that I left you. I’m so sorry I walked away. I thought I was doing the right thing.
And by the time I realised I wasn’t, it was too late.

Everything since was about you. All of it. Choices made over and over again. I’m still making them. I set a pattern of events in motion.
I don’t really know what the outcome might be and that too is full of fear. I’m not sure what is right or new. I’m terrified of tragedy.
The flecks in your eyes still make my heart flip. I still think of you. Often.
I’m glad that you are back, now I just need you to live.