Thursday, October 22, 2020

The advantage of being old

I was sitting in the car when I noticed a pretty pink plant growing from the wall. I hadn't seen one like it before and didn't know what it was, so got out of the car to have a closer look.

It was a few scraps of material caught on a twig.

A much under-valued and rarely-mentioned advantage of ageing: you see beauty in all things.

And my age is probably the reason why I'm so excited about a new plunger as well. That and my new measuring jug that has quantities on the side that I can read, as opposed to the old jugs which I can only read in very good light and at the right angle.

And I haven't told you about my new food processor either! I have told you that Husband is quite obsessed with this online auction site he found, and after I'd tried sticking my old processor together with duct tape, he decided to see what he could find.

Now of course I have the problem of finding somewhere to store it - which will mean getting rid of my old and much treasured one. But not until I've tried the new one and made sure it works to my satisfaction.

* * * * * * *

In writing news my new website is live! And in an attempt to make my self-published books look more professional I've created my own publishing company. It's called George Publishing and here's the logo.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Now I know how cyclists feel

A beautiful morning for a scoot along the prom.

I'm trying to build up distance gradually. My hip ached on Saturday but that may have been because of the cycling in the gym the day before. But I want to get my body used to it before tackling huge distances - by which I mean to Verdi's and back.

Things I've learned.
1) I am a left-footed scoot-er. On empty stretches I am practising with my right foot but I seem to have less control so I wobble about. But I need to be ambilegstrous otherwise I will have one leg stronger than the other and walk in circles all day.
2) People aren't very fond of scoot-ers. My smiles/hellos received very little response (except from older gentlemen?) so I assume scoot-ers are put in the same category as cyclists. 
3) I should have waited until after scooting to shower.

I was happy though, scooting along with a big grin on my face. (Maybe that's why the walkers avoided me ...)

Sunday, October 18, 2020

From little oaks

Following on from the enormous success I had growing carrots ...

okay, they were short and misshapen but still a vast improvement on my previous forays into the gardening world i.e. they didn't die, I am trying again but this time I'm going BIG!

Yes, I'm growing an oak tree! (Now, you see, that photo looked in focus when I took it - and I was wearing my glasses.)

I couldn't tell if it was a shoot or a root growing - I thought it looked like a shoot but wasn't sure - so I planted it sideways in the hope it knows which way to go.

I shall keep you informed of its progress.
* * * * *
When we used to visit the in-laws when the children were young, Mother-in-law used to tell them it was lucky to catch a falling leaf in October. I don't believe in luck but I love the tradition of trying to catch a leaf. Have you ever tried? It's not as easy as you might think. The air you move as you run towards it propels it away from you.

Yesterday when we were in the country park with the grandchildren we had great fun tearing around until everyone had caught a leaf - except Granny. (I did manage eventually.)
But once hooked on the 'catch a leaf' thing catching one isn't enough. Today Husband and I were walking by the river. We stopped for a cuddle - as old married couples do - and over Husband's shoulder I could see trees shedding their leaves. 

'Keep saying the mantra,' I told myself. 'Ignore the leaves, ignore the leaves, ignore the ...' 
I pushed Husband aside and threw myself at a falling leaf.
I missed it.

But I did get a consolation prize on the way home. A leaf fell almost into my hands.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Scooting about

When I was a little girl I had a scooter. I loved my scooter.

I never had a bike because 'we wus poor but we wus honest' and didn't learn to ride one until I was in my thirties. We were on a caravan holiday and the site rented out bikes. It was a flat part of the country so Husband hired one for me and taught me to ride.

When we returned home we bought a bike for me - so I could join Husband and children on bike rides - but I never felt really comfortable on it. I didn't like going uphill or downhill, and I stopped if people were approaching. So when I realised that the ache I occasionally got in my hip (in the middle of the night) always followed a bike ride it seemed an excellent reason to give up cycling.

And I've never cycled since.

Husband has always been a cyclist commuting by bike and even now going out for rides on his own - George can't keep up. He's recently ordered a conversion kit so he can add an electric motor to his bike to make coming back up the hill after his ride easier on his heart.

Where does that leave me? Well, with a birthday coming up next month I started dropping hints about a scooter. I think I mentioned Husband's new-found delight - an auction site - and, guess what he's bought me for my birthday? 

Yes, and it arrived yesterday!

I was a little worried I might have lost the knack of scooting but it's like riding a bike or sex: you never forget how to. Assuming you knew in the first place.

Don't tell anyone this but it has a motor so I too can fly up hills! If - and it's a big if - I can get my speed up to 3 mph before the engine will engage. I suppose the secret is to get it going before I hit the hill. I shall report back.

Currently doing old school stops i.e. leaping off. Must remember I have a brake and to use it.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The bra fitting

I am engrossed in all things creative and marketing: building an author website, creating an email list, collecting subscribers (slow work), and watching How-to videos. And I am actually enjoying it. In between the swearing and technical ineptitude.

I thought you might enjoy watching/listening to me reading an excerpt from This Time Next Year (currently free when you sign up for my newsletter - see right). 

Alison, the narrator of the story, is fifty and newly divorced so her two best friends are taking her shopping for new clothes/a new look to help boost her confidence.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The boxer

According to reports, it seems that a number of people who've been doing the careers assessment test have got Boxer as a suggested option. This number includes a friend of mine, a rather highly qualified nuclear science person. Sonata, who brought the article in the Guardian to my attention, suggests that it could be a reflection of our need, after months of lockdown to hit out.

I can empathise with that. When I have to do boxing in my various exercise routines I visualise the face I'm punching with force. The face varies depending on which idiot has most recently been in the news but Boris Johnson is a particular favourite.

Speaking of exercise I made my first visit to the University gym yesterday. All very well-spaced and air, with individuals responsible for disinfecting the equipment before and after use. Not a hardship. Certainly not as big a hardship as doing the exercise.

Fifteen minutes on a bike, ten on cross trainer (very hard), thirteen on the rowing machine (because Husband wanted to move into the other gym at this point), and fifteen on the treadmill. All on the lowest possible setting. The bike and cross trainer were hardest and my heart rate went up to 165 at one point. Mostly it was a lot lower than that though. So rather pleased with myself and will go again. (Note to self: check what heart rate is recommended during exercise.)

Quite pleased with myself today as well. Flu jab first followed by a nice walk with George and Husband. I came back and got immersed in my new website creation again. I was rather more successful this time. I think I'm getting it. (Some of it. Maybe.)

Friday, October 09, 2020

Got me down to a T

It appears that I have inadvertently spent my life doing exactly what I was made for: being a kept woman.

Our Chancellor has suggested that people involved in the Arts should consider retraining and finding a proper job instead of grumbling that the government isn't helping artists during the current Covid crisis. To assist them find an alternative there is a career assessment test on the government website, and lots of people have been doing it and tweeting their results.

Never one to miss an opportunity to waste time I took the test. After doing so it gave me three options and I had to answer further questions in each of those. And the final result was:

I am officially unemployable. Sounds about right.

And I wasn't trying to be awkward; I answered the questions to the best of my ability.

My sons have both just done the test. For Elder Son the recommendations are that he should become a pro footballer (a bit old?) or an actor (hm, in the Arts you mean?) Younger Son's were slightly more sensible with cricketeer or cycling coach. At least he's a keen cycler and he did play cricket twice when he was in Cubs.