Tag Archives: walking

From Bleak Breakfast to Boring Birds

Breakfast was a touch bleak at 5.30 this morning – we burnt the toast and lost the marmalade. The first was due to the unwritten natural law that the chance of burning your toast rises in inverse proportion to the amount of bread available.

Thus, when you only have four slices of bread left you are almost guaranteed to burn it.

It’s the child effect – when they are both visiting, as they were this weekend, food simply seems to disappear. I’m sure we had half a loaf when I went to bed. I can’t even attempt to work out what they’ve done with the marmalade.

After that it was time to do laundry (and start a new book), go shopping, walk round the duck pond, answer blog comments, and cook for the evening (a highly untechnical dish of vegetables (mainly courgette) to be eaten with wholemeal pasta. Some times I’m so healthy I frighten myself.

It’s the first time I’ve been able to walk round the pond without my stick since April, so I’m happy with that, even if it is only 500 yards.

The ducks, I’m sad to say, were not very interesting.

The wooden sculptures are looking good.

It looks like things are getting back to normal, which┬áis clearly a mixed blessing. I now have more domestic chores to do, but it’s nice being able to walk without the stick. Next week I will have to walk round twice.

The final picture is my shopping list, as people seem to like shopping lists.

You may notice that it’s not like other shopping lists that people show after finding lists that have been lost. There’s not much chance of me losing this list, and if I do, let’s face it, I will have more to worry about than lack of a list.

It’s not a proper list, just the things I’d forgotten from yesterday.

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Shopping list

 

 

 

After the Bee-eaters

 

Guess what we did after we saw the Bee-eaters last week?

Yes, as you may be able to guess from the pictures, we went to see the Ospreys at Rutland Water. It was an expedition with several difficulties, one being distance and another being the settings on Julia’s camera. That’s why the pictures have the look of video footage taken on a phone camera.

What happened was that I ground to a halt after two hides, but nobly insisted that Julia carried on to the next one to see the Ospreys. She arrived at the relevant hide to find that her camera was mysteriously frozen, so phone shots of the CCTV were the best she could do. Good bit of lateral thinking.

The fledglings were looking quite lively, and likely to leave the nest quite soon.

Best sightings of the day for me were the damselflies and dragonflies. There were hundreds of Common Blue Damselflies about, though mostly too fast for my camera skills. The Common Darter was quite common too, and darted about. I don’t know who named these things, but they got it spot on. We did see a few others but without photos I’m not too good at identifying them.

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Common Blue Damselfly (male)

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Common Darter (male)

 

 

 

Miracles do happen

Yesterday’s visit to the Bee-eaters was about as much walking as I wanted to do, but there was still half a day to fill and it seemed a shame not to use it. I won’t say too much now, as it will be reported in a later post, but I ended up walking so far that I could barely make it back to the car.

It doesn’t sound much, a total of around 2,000 yards, but compared to recent days when even 20 yards were a challenge, it’s a major achievement.

I was expecting to be crippled this morning. I was certainly aching last night. Starting from the top – my shoulders ached from using the stick so much, my back ached, my right hip ached (it’s on my problem side), my right knee ached (and wouldn’t bend or take my weight) and my feet ached. In some cases “ached” is an understatement, but you know me, I do hate to complain.

After talking to a lady at Bempton Cliffs (we spent a few minutes sitting and talking about bad knees) I have started taking two turmeric capsules a day. Result – almost no pain at all in my arthritic feet and a general reduction in aches and pains.

Turmeric is well known as an anti-inflammatory and in my case seems to work.

In addition, I did have a couple of ibuprofen after finishing the walk yesterday, and a couple of painkillers before going to bed.

This morning, I felt like I could leap out of bed and run round like a youngster once more. I managed to resist, but I could have done if I was a leaping and running sort of person.

I can’t put it all down to the turmeric, but it has certainly helped. Now all I need to do is talk to the doctor and anticoagulant clinic about it. I’m sure they won’t like it.

It’s frustrating that after months of taking things easy the solution was to eat curry powder and walk till it hurt.

No photos with this one – pictures of my feet tend not to attract readers. ­čÖé

Rufford at Last!

I finally managed the trip to Rufford.

The car journey was only the first step, the hundred yards of varied slopes between the car park and the lake was more of a problem.

It was worth it to sit in the sun and watch a pair of Moorhens struggling to build a nest with unsuitably large twigs. (It wasn’t so much the struggle as the persistence that made the watching worthwhile).

Things are very different from our last visit, with fewer birds, more sun and a lack of seating space. Where the winter visitors (the human ones, not the birds) tend to walk round the lake it seems that the summer visitors, who are generally older than the winter ones, like to sit.┬áIt was very pleasant to sit out in the sun, and I enjoyed it after all the time I’ve spent indoors recently. My only reservation is that sitting in the sun with a group of octogenarians is a clearer vision of my future than I want.

As soon as I’m out of hospital I’m going to start doing that list of things that’s been at the back of my mind for years.

Fortunately there’s no skydiving or mountain climbing involved.

Back in the Game

 

 

 

I went out for a walk today, my first since last week. Well, if you consider 200 yards a walk. I liked it so much that I may do it again before going to bed.

Strange to think that it was only the end of December when we made our plan to get out into nature and do more walking. Now I’m struggling to get out of the house. It just goes to show how life can change in an instant.

Here’s another example of how you’re life can change in an instant. I actually saw him at the hospital on Wednesday. He was crossing the car park in a wheelchair as I hobbled around to the Urgent Treatment Centre. I didn’t actually know who he was until I saw the news on my return from hospital.

So, I’m going to get a grip and start making a note of my walking every day. ┬áIt might only be 200 yards a day, but as long as it’s 201 yards next time it’s progress. To put that in context, it’s enough to get me from the car park to the lake at Rufford. Getting round the lake may take a little longer…

The photos are from previous visits, but I’m hoping to get some new ones soon.

 

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Through the window

 

 


 

Rufford Abbey

It was a lovely day ┬áyesterday, crisp and sunny, and Julia decided we should visit Rufford Abbey. It was also the first day of her crusade to make me a fitter, healthier man, which, to be honest, did take a bit of the shine off the day for me. I know she’s doing it for my own good but a day geared towards exercise will always have a small cloud hanging over it.

When we arrived I cheered up a bit because it’s now on winter opening hours and that means weekday parking is free. I do like a bargain. They do a season ticket at ┬ú30 for 12 months – sounds good value too.

Rufford Abbey is fairly standard as country houses go – started as a Cistercian Abbey in 1147 and pottered on until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. It then became a private house owned by the Talbot family (Earls of Shrewsbury) – you can see the Talbots (hunting dogs) acting as supporters on the carved coat of arms above the doors. The owl under the large coat of arms refers to the Saville family, who eventually ended up owning it.

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Coat of arms of the Earls of Shrewsbury with Talbot supporters, and owl of the Savile family

Both families have interesting histories, but I’ll leave you to look that up for yourself if you’re interested.

Finally, the estate was broken up in 1931, and Nottinghamshire County Council bought the house and park in 1951. In 1956 they demolished two wings of the 17th century house to leave what we see today. I can’t see any council giving people planning permission to that these days. It still did better than other local houses. Clumber Park was demolished 1938, and Sutton Scarsdale Hall was allowed to decay after having the roof stripped off in 1919.

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Restored version of one of the old corbels

There are ice houses, animal graves, a bluebell wood (though not right now), tea rooms, shop, lakes, woodland walks, birds (which will be covered in my next post), a mill race and other things to see, but I can’t report on most of that as we didn’t see it on this visit.