Sunday, 12 September 2021

Sunday 12th September 2021 - Autumn is underway

 I have survived the PCR test, and the trip to London for routine clinic appointments and tests. A friend drove us in her campervan, so that social distancing and avoiding public transport could all happen without any stress - so appreciated. At the hospital 'proper' mask wearing was almost universal - obviously more relaxed near the coffee shops (how else can you drink your coffee and chomp on a sandwich?) and it felt - safe.

Attempting a 6 minute walk test (where you walk as many times as you can up and down a measured length of corridor in 6 minutes) should never be done while wearing a FFP3 mask. Trust me. This could be why the result of that test was lower than expected, and generally oxygen readings were lower. I did peel off that mask and replace it with an ordinary one, the same as everyone else, after that experience.

The results were all slightly lower than last time, which was back in 2019, and could be down to any, or all of, wearing the FFP3 mask which is significantly harder to breathe through than the ordinary one,  ,  change in heart or lung function, or just generally becoming unfit from having stopped work and being sat sitting around in a state of sloth for 18 months. The cardiologist relaxed somewhat when I showed him the walk tests and so forth that I had been doing at home, and prescribed '5000 steps a day, but work up to it, not all at once'. Ah. That is quite a lot of walking for me... 

Talking of masks, I have made this; 

a short crochet strap with a button at each end. You fix the over-ear loops of the mask over the buttons instead of round your ear, which massively simplifies things when one already has hearing aids and spectacles hooked over your ears. The tab in the middle is because this is the prototype and was a little too long. I shall make another in due course. (I'm not the one with hearing aids!)

The walking and paying attention to regaining fitness is continuing, with a blip when I had to isolate for a few days between PCR test and going up to London, and another blip yesterday when I decided to have a day off. Although I have discovered a pulmonary rehab exercise video made by NHS Scotland, which is very good.

I have finished the slipover I have been working on for ages. The yarn is much thinner than anything I have every used before, and progress seemed very slow. I'm pleased with the result, and, as you can see, I am persevering with the 100day dress challenge. The dress if brilliant, so far, in hot weather and in cool.

I know it is the second half of Summer when these yellow flowers appear. They are humming, buzzing with bees. 

I was given some cucamelon seeds for Christmas, and the other day I discovered that the vine is covered in them. I tasted one, and was not impressed; rather sour, I thought. Perhaps it wasn't ripe. 

Nope. This is the size they should be, and it turns out they are meant to taste sour, so I have been looking information on what you are supposed to do with them. Apparently they are a 'superfood' and 'packed with anti-oxidants'. So I will have another go at eating them. Somehow.  

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Saturday 4th September - Some drawings and a new dress

 I'm  still plugging on with walking a decent distance every day. And every day I'm  surprised that I'm doing it again. It's mostly rund the same couple of streets near the house; it's surprising how different the front gardens look when you walk past from  the other direction. So, that's another mile added to the running, or rather Walking total. 

I'm really pleased with yesterday's drawings;

The lesson was on volcanoes and mugs; I added the cup and saucer and the jug. They didn't take long. It makes such a difference when you find the how-to-do-it book that is right for you. 

I've been wondering about the Rowena swing dress 100 day challenge for a while. I remember an Australian newspresenter (male) admitting to wearing the same jacket for a whole year, while his (female) co-presenter's outfits received constant comments from the viewers, especially if she wore the same clothes.

 Can you really wear the same wool dress for 100 days in a row?

After a year of mulling it over I bought the Rowena dress and have started the challenge today. I tried the dress on when it arrived and it is supremely comfortable.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Thursday 2nd September - New Enthusiasms

 It's been quite a good week, all in all.

I've just got one loose end left after the flurry of activity relating to my hospital appointment in London next week - arranging a local PCR test. It seems you can't book these more than a day or two in advance (why?) so that has to stay on my HOT to-do list for a few more days.

(Knock knock do a great range of sticky note pads, planning pads and downright silly pads...) 

The most recent useless financial expenditure I have indulged in is signing up for a virtual trek through the Dutch bulb fields. This is in lieu of one of a number of holidays that are on another to do list that I daren't look at too often in case I jinx it.

The idea is that you fork out your dosh, download the app and choose your trek. Mine is 41 miles through fields of tulips in Spring time. - I update the app with how far I have walked that day, and it moves my avatar along the route. Today I received a virtual postcard and an interesting potted history of the town I am passing through. When I have finished I will get a medal!

 I have set a target of 7 weeks to complete my walk so I'm not in any great hurry.

One of the features is that you can 'see' your route using the little yellow man on google maps. So it looks as though I have been ambling along a pavement/cycle land in a quiet street with houses along one side and woodland along the other. 

Another great thing is that it will always be the right time of year - and the walk 'feels' completely flat - well, it would, being the Netherlands. But supposing I had picked Hadrian's Wall? Or Mount Kilimanjaro? Neither of these are a realistic possibility for me, but now... If you are inspired by this, have a look at

Other news -  the cuttings I took yesterday of the lavender, and the the day before of the salvia armistead plants haven't died yet. The little green 'toy' watering can is proving to be one of my 'best buys' this year.

The passion flower is making a brave attempt, nothing like as rampant as last year, (that's one of the salvias beside it)

The fuscia is having a second go at flowering, and, hello, a nasturtium, self seeded from last year.