Monday, 4 January 2021

Monday 4th January - more walking, this and that,

 I don't think I've done so many walks in a row for, since, oh I don't know.

We only went out for a short while this morning as it was dripping when we went out, and it turned to rain quite soon.

The next few paragraphs are all about walking so ignore if you like... 

About 12 minutes, give or take, and 750m, approximately. I know this because I did two 6 minute walk tests almost in quick succession. This test is what I used to do every time I went for cardiology or rheumatology tests at the clinics in London, in the days of yore. Such a simple test; they check blood pressure and oxygen sats, then I walk up and down a 30m length of corridor for six minutes, they work out how far I have travelled (back in 2019 it used to be around 400m) and check blood pressure (crazy high) and oxygen sats (alarmingly low) again.

I don't drag the blood pressure stuff around, and there's no point trying to gt oxygen sats reading when my hands are cold, but I can see how far I can go in six minutes. It's down to 300m, give or take, and even more inaccurate because every way from our door is up - be it slope or gradient -  and that really slows me down.

Yesterday I did a longer loop; a total of 1300m wit the portable oxygen concentrator set to 2 litres per minute (pulse). Today we set it to 3 litres per minute (pulse). I would have been happy to do at least the same loop as yesterday, or maybe further, but rain and portable oxygen concentrator seemed a bad mix so we turned back after the first walk test.

The next plan is to see what happens if I load a bag with about 2-3kg of books and try the loop with the machine set to 2 or 3 litres per minute. The lighter weight machines come in at around that kind of weight, depending on which one you choose. 

All these experimentations are showing one thing for certain - using oxygen when I am out does make a huge difference to what I can manage, and staying even-tempered, even uphill. I can even talk, rather than grunt! 

We are in the data collection phase as the moment...

While we were walking I had brain space to notice things as well, such as the big fat buds on magnolias, wrapped tight in their furry blankets, and a camellia covered in right red flowers. This is all good stuff!

I've started reading some of the books I was given for Christmas. This one was on my 'wantables' list for some time - I resisted buying it for maybe a year or so. I love Ravilious prints and paintings and now I have 54 in one book, along with rather dark little verses. If I can consume them slowly, like rich chocolates, I will be able to make them last a while.

I'm quite glad to have finished the Advent book 'Frequencies of God, reflections on poems by R S Thomas' written by Carys Walsh. A whole five weeks of R S Thomas was quite a workout for this brain - not many of the poems were what one might call 'accessible' and by the New Year I was feeling like elastic which has lost its stretch. 

I'm looking forward to reading 'A Word in the Wilderness' in Lent this year, another Christmas present;

he has chosen different poets so there should be a good mixture and hopefully not all as densely packed as R S Thomas.

Then there is this, also on my 'wantables' list, an a surprisingly heavy little book;

To begin with I just want to make a drawing of the cover picture!

I've made a start on this book (a bit of a cheat to include this as it is a book I ordered for myself and then handed over to be wrapped up)

 The little squares for drawing in are only about an inch and a bit square - I'm enjoying doodling when the advertisements come on. If I see that Go Compare man once more, that will be one time too many, but I think we are stuck with him. Oh well, at least he's got a job...!




  1. Lovely books. Thanks so much for showing My Year in Small Drawings - may spend part of my book gift card on it. Inspired by you, I did start trying to draw most days in a sketch pad but that didn't last long. Maybe this will get me properly into the habit so that I can then go on, on my own.

  2. The 'how to draw' that I found the most inspiring is Mona Brookes 'how to draw with children'. It may be less appealing than others, but her method of teaching you how to really look at things and break them down into component lines and shapes was nothing short of magic. The right book at the right time!
    I also find it helpful Not committing to a daily habit because then I don't feel let down if I miss a day. My painty stuff is all on a tray ready to go when I'm ready to paint.

  3. Thanks, I see that our Canadian big-box bookstore chain, for which I have the gift cards, offers her book. Bonus may be that I can hand it on, in a few years, to my homeschooling stepdaughter for her little one - she's not two yet, but by the time I've worked through it she may be old enough. Thank you.