Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Another week

Although life is mostly fun and we are doing a bit more here and there, the weeks are rather blurring into each other. Working from home, walking, golfing and village based socialising. Now the pubs are open there is the option of same variety I suppose but do we have the desire to make the effort any more?

Not really but neither do we want to desert our locals which we rely upon during the dreary, rainy winters...hmmm

When last I blogged we were vegging out watching Wednesday lose on a rainy Sunday. We did eventually haul our carcasses out for a walk and picked a hilly route round the village. And of course we called into The Shoulder of Mutton for "one" on the way round. It was fabbie to have a crisp, cool pint of bitter out of a proper glass. 

One became 2 when it absolutely bucketed it down just before we were about to head up to the White Hart for a quick one. 

So, maybe not the most diet friendly afternoon but nice to be out after all this time. Following the pub theme we had steak and chips for supper and a bottle of Pinotage. What a lovely day!!

Yesterday morning it was weigh in time. I squeaked into the 17s taking me to a 5lb total drop in 2 weeks. Not bad but 2 weeks is always okay. It's weeks 3 and 4 which are the tests!

I'm afraid the diet didn't feature heavily in my Monday though. I was grouchy in the morning then got some emails with my pub quiz team about our team member Richard who died a couple of months ago (not of Covid, he had a massive heart attack on the street while out on his daily exercise walk - tragic). We were starting to make plans for his Memorial quiz event as we couldn't go to his funeral. 

So far, so good but then I mentioned the pub and before you know it I was agreeing to meet Greg and Dave for a lunchtime drink in the Anglers in Bamford! So now I'm day drinking!! And no regrets. It was great, just lovely to see the boys and have a proper chat and banter. I cheered right up but Rich went the other way when I sent him this photo and told him we were drinking one of his (and my) favourite beers, Abbeydale's Moonshine. 

I will not be making a habit on Monday lunchtime pints but it was fun!!

We went back to Bamford in the evening to pick up Rich's car from the garage so walked round the fields and the Mill. At least we saw the sun briefly before it disappeared again. 

Have a great week folks!!

Sunday, 5 July 2020

A bit same-y but that is no bad thing

Here are some pics from my visit to Dad's earlier this week. It was a gloomy day and Lincolnshire is so flat that I sometimes find the walks there a bit featureless. They certainly don't photograph very well. However, I have spent the last 4 months watching the natural world in much more detail than usual so, this time, I found lots to look at.

The first thing I noticed is how far ahead Lincolnshire is compare to my corner of the Peaks. At home the verges are full of geraniums, hogweed, dog roses, even some elderflowers. These are all over at Dad's. The dog roses were all finished with the hips well developed. The hogweed had gone to seed leaving brown husks. They are onto Rosebay Willow Herb which hasn't even started at home. Also the brambles are covered in masses of green berries whereas we are only just starting with flowering.

The brambles were alive with butterflies and bees, in particular a pale brown butterfly with 1small orange "eye" on each wing. I have not seen these round here ever!

Since I returned from Dad's I have played golf twice. Not particularly well either time but both were physically tough due to constant, drizzley rain and strong winds. I felt pumelled after each round. On the plus side, it has been good, calorie-burning exercise and the scales are showing signs of downward movement. I have even squeaked down into the 17s a couple of times!!

So, I have to be good today in advance of weigh in tomorrow but, the trouble is, I have just had a big fry up for brunch and am vegging out blogging and watching Sheffield Wednesday v Swansea on the telly. It is howling a gale outside so a long walk is not appetizing either.

I'm only in week 2 and should really have more motivation than this. I will be active after this game! I will definitely do something that is not couch-based. But it will be hard...

Friday, 3 July 2020

Catch up

It's been a bit hectic this last week hence the no posting and catch up post now. So, what have I been up to?

The weekend was mainly golf. A pairs comp on Saturday where Rich very wisely manipulated it so he was playing with his brother not me. Katie and I were terrible shooting a miserable 31 points  while Rich and his bro played brilliantly with just one blemish to score 44 and win third for £26 each!

On Sunday in an individual comp it was reversed. Katie and I found  form and scored 38 each and the boys collapsed. Haha! I came third in the comp overall but don't know how much my voucher is worth.

So, my handicap which had crept up for the weekend to 13 is back to 12 after just 2 outings. No bad thing but bad timing as our big week of year with the President's Prize is next week and an extra shot would have been handy!!

Monday morning weigh in saw a 4lb drop but I did not think this was real due to TOTM fluctuations and subsequent weighing makes a 2lb drop seem more realistic. Better thn no drop!!

Then a rare trip into the office for a couple of hours hunting for deeds and documents which other folk have not been able to find. What fun. Skelping boxes around and wading through piles of dusty deeds (I whinge but I do quite like this old school side to property law). Found all 3 items thus making a lot of people happy and allowing 3 transactions to continue unhindered.

I had brought the dog with me and left her snoozing in the car in a quiet corner of the underground carpark.  After a quick legstretcher up the canal we were off! Visiting my dad for the first time in 4 months!!

I had been poorly at the end of Feb and veginning of March with a really nasty cold/cough (don't think it was the dreaded lurgy) around the time of panto and just after so had put off visiting dad rather than pass it to him. Then came lockdown. The last time I saw him was 21st Feb when he visited with my sister to watch me in the village panto! (I was a triumph of course as Captain Nobeard in Treasure Island!!)

It was lovely to see him again. He's sounded very positive and fine over the phone and he is very good on his own but you just don't know do you? My niece and her husband who had been living with him for nearly 2 years had had to move out hurriedly at the beginning of the restrictions as she had been told she would be transferred to a covid ward at Lincoln General. (She's in her second year as a doctor so doing stints in lots of different areas.)

As it happened, Lincolnshire had very low numbers so she was never moved and stayed on doing mostly telephone work with the GP practice she had been with at the time. Which, to be honest, we're all happy about. Being local she could do dad's shopping and pop round every couple of weeks with that and check up on him for us.

And his village has been superbly supportive. Weekly phone calls from a Parish Councillor; his cleaner popping round with the odd plated up meal;  another woman's weekly bun run leaving home baked treats every Wednesday; various pals phoning and chatting on the driveway.

Dad himself has been so positive, making a point of doing something in the house or garden every day so that the garden looks great and all sorts of chores have been ticked off. He also tried to phone one of his old friends or family every day which was a great idea, both for him but also for some of the pretty ancient friends too.

When I was working on Tuesday I could hear him chatting to an old school friend for ages about all sorts. He said she was poorly and fed up but I reckon the call would have cheered her up.

I cooked us a meal Monday evening and we talked and talked and then on Tuesday at 4pm it was time to leave. But I'll be back every 2 or 3 weeks now for a 2 day, 1 night visit.

On my way home I stopped in to visit my old school friend Stephanie. She has had a rough time. Gave up her job 2 years ago to care for her father with dementia and last year he deteriorated badly with liver cancer too. He died a few weeks ago and now she's rattling around his big house sorting and boxing and dealing with the estate to get it valued and sold etc. with only sporadic help from her brothers.

We had a nice couple of hours in her beautiful garden chatting and catching up and I hope seeing someone new and petting Minty lifted her spirits a bit. I think I will make a point of calling in on her every time I visit dad as she doesn't know anyone locally apart from her brothers.

Work has been very busy too so diet and exercise has been pushed down the agenda but not forgotten. I have been good on booze but only okay on food as there have been several grabbed-on-the-go meals and snacks. Yesterday was decent so will work on stability this coming week. 

Must dash now to get some work done as we're clocking off early to play golf at Rich's other brother's club in Sheffield at 4pm. I wonder which golfing Lesley will turn up today!!?

Sunday, 28 June 2020


Eagle-eyed Pam spotted a reference to "dog" rather than "dogs" and, looking back, I note that I had a big gap between posts from March to November.

Well, in this time, in August last year, we lost both Shelagh our old girl and Rich's mum within a couple of days of each other. Rich's mum Sue went far too young at 70 but she had recurring cancer having thought she had beaten it the year before and the early stages of dementia which made her very confused at the end.

She had clearly set her sights on getting to our wedding and having a wonderful day then not lingering long beyond that. And in that she was sucessful.

She was brilliant on our wedding day. Looked lovely, ate, danced with her sons, chatted with the family and stayed late. When we came back from our minimoon in Wensleydale, she was straight to hospital and then into a care home and she died 9 weeks later.

Her brothers and sisters, one in particular, were great as were her 3 children. Even though the 2 brothers don't really get on with their sister, they put that to one side and all worked together to make Sue's last days and weeks as comfortable and loved as possible.

It was a strange start to a marriage though, everyone asking if you're really happy but the fact was we were stressed, lonely and bored. I visited her 2 or 3 times each week but Rich only had a few days off in all that time so I had to do everything at home.

Which sadly included caring for an increasingly poorly dog. She deteriorated quite quickly really though and didn't suffer beyond one bad episode when we had to rush her to the emergency vet. In the end, it was only one bad night when she would not be comforted by either of us. We knew she wanted to go and she had a couple of fits on my lap as we drove into Sheffield to the vet. She made it so easy for us. A trip to the vets and we let her go in peace.

I wish Sue had been able to go in such peace and had not had to endure 4 or 5 days of slipping away, rattling and choking at the very end. I wish Rich and his family did not have to remember her like that. It seems we can be kinder to our pets than to our parents.

Anyway, these pics are of Shelagh's last proper walk about a week before she died. She still had a paddle and a stick and was my best girl.

Minty was a bit on edge for a few days after she went but has blossomed. She absolutely loves being an only dog so, much as we'd like to give another dog a home, we are going to let her have her way and enjoy her retirement being spoiled rotten!

Friday, 26 June 2020

Still hanging in

You might have noticed that I have been a bit gloomy and glum these last few days, in parts anyway. Then this evening TOTM arrived thus explaining the gloom. I know some women are totally in tune with their body's cycle but I have never been one of those and even less so as I approach the dreaded menopause. So actually it was nice to have an explanation for the excessive "feeling fat" and the gloom.

Last night's birthday celebrations were great. Just a few pals drinking our own drinks on a quiet street but lovely to be able to chat and banter and pretend to be back in the pub for a couple of hours!

I walked over the fields with the dog on my way up there and it was a truly stunning evening. Golden light.

I got chatting to a relatively new pal towards the end of the evening. She is about my age but petite and slim. Well I think so. She has gained a few lbs in lockdown, maybe going from an 8 to a 10 and hates herself! It all came pouring out. How she worries in advance of every social occasion; thinks about her food, exercise and weight almost all the time and is making herself miserable  as a result. 

So sad. I might be fat but at least now I don't judge myself for it and I've never hated myself! I can thank Dr Steve Peters for that, well him and leaving a toxic marriage which was probably also something to do with Steve! This woman seems to have a very supportive husband but her chimp is  firmly in control. We had a good chat and I hope I at least sowed some seeds to help her. 

Our chat helped me too as it reminded me that it is one thing not hating myself for being fat but I don't need to accept it either. I need to get on with the actual process and practicalities of dropping weight. It's starting and I'm starting to feel excited about it once more.  

Today has been slightly hungover (although that could have been the warm night too), alternately cool then hot and humid, work and chores and not much else. A quiet walk around the village this evening and taking it easy in advance of a rainy round of golf tomorrow. 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Still here and feeling fat!!

The hot sunny days are great but they are significantly harder when you're fat. I played 18 holes of golf yesterday morning which was tough. I'm sure carrying extra weight and the corresponding lack of fitness has impacted on my game which is very poor at the moment.

And after playing I discovered the dreaded chub rub which was depressing. Also I didn't have any energy for the rest of the day! I know I'm in my 50's now but I'm sure it was not this hard last summer with 1.5 stones less to lug around.

So, yesterday was hard and I did veer towards the self-medication of a barbie and half bottle of white wine. But I didn't ultimately go overboard. And today I have bounced back a bit. Yoghurt and fruit for brekkie and salad lunch.

To be honest, I'm noticing that the "bad" days do seem to coincide with the bread-y days so I'm going to work on cutting out bread as much as possible.

I am still writing down what I eat, stepping on the scales each day and doing daily long walks or golf so this first week is still broadly on track.

Tonight we are heading up to a street "bar" (BYO and socially distanced) to celebrate a mate's birthday. I'm taking a limited amount of gin to minimise calories but suspect I will say yes to a slice of cake if it's one I like!!

Now, here are some pics of the route of the walk I took on Tuesday evening with Kerry. I actually took these a few weeks ago when walking alone but I haven't uploaded the Kerry pics from my big camera yet.)

It's a fabulous 2 hour hike up the dale just ouside my village through a couple of tiny hamlets up to an old mining rake and then back down the other side of the dale. There are ruins of the old mine workings and awesome wildlife sightings on the way.

On Tuesday we spotted a curlew on a wall, a barn owl, meadow pipits, skylarks, newts and tadpoles in a dew pond, bunnies, glorious wildflowers and loads of more common or garden flora and fauna. Heaven.

When I walked it before it was a much more moody day with looming grey skies switching to bright sunshine and even 5 mins of rain towards the end.