I have had to. I have had a lot on and it is only getting busier. This is usually the time when I start to falter; when a legitimate excuse not to log, or exercise or eat well turns into a few days off, which can then turn into hiatus from diet and exercise. Not this time.
I was in work Monday and Tuesday and managed a good run on Monday and a determined march around town on Tuesday. Wednesday was working from home and then heading over to pick up Dad after his operation. Work was demanding so I knew I would not be able to fit in a run but I managed a lovely walk around Hathersage before I set off. It's a walk I don't do often and usually try to avoid in the wet as it can get very muddy but it was very uplifting on Wednesday.
You start by crossing the river Noe, running high after all the rain!
Past these magnificent chickens.They are very large and glossy black. No idea of breed - Peridot, it's the sort of thing you usually know?? Their cockerel is a character too, strutting around bossing them all about.
You turn right up a track past the cemetary which must be one of the most scenic and peaceful resting places anywhere. Where we buried Mum is beautiful in a flat, Lincolnshire kind of way but I think this has the edge.
Even when it is wet and chilly, nature was everywhere. The hedgerows were alive with birdlife and we must have seen a dozen squirrels. The birds were pretty good too - all the usuals - chaffinches, goldfinches, blue, coal and great tits, sparrows, blackbirds, robins, etc but also a stunning fat thrush and a cloud of long-tailed tits. I love them with their fluffy pink and grey feathers.
Then under the railway track. Those Victorian architects certainly meant their work to last.
I love this view up to the lovely big house on the hill, the grand park in front with their ancient trees.
This one didn't make it through the last storm a few weeks ago. It still looks pretty grand though.
The fenced enclosure up ahead is a small caravan park. I'm never attracted by the idea of caravanning but, if I had to do it, I would pick a place like this. Small, quiet but within easy walking distance of the village and its pubs and shops.
Then we turn onto the fields and walk towards Mam Tor in the distance, the Shivering Mountain as it used to be called.
A nice close up of my greying temples. I really need to book a haircut and touch up before my big performance in the Panto; I don't want people to clock how old I really am!!
Back under the railway line with a beautiful view of Hope Church beyond.
And then back to Hope with Lose Hill (makes a change from Win Hill I suppose) ahead of me all the way.
Dad was in good spirits after his operation. He said he hadn't felt a thing, not even the local anaesthetic so that was good. He has to put drops in 10 times each day for 2 weeks and can't drive during that time but he seems well able to cope. I did a run around the house making sure that he wouldn't have to do any heavy lifting or bending etc. His village is amazing though - while I was there 2 of his pals dropped by to see how it had gone and several more rang him to chat as well. I must have heard the same stories about 6 times!! He has offers of lifts to the hospital and to the shops so I don't worry too much about him.
I had to leave him on Thursday evening to get back to rehearsals but I knew my sister and her husband were arriving on Friday morning for the weekend. It was at the rehearsals that I got the bad news that the 2 women will almost certainly NOT be able to play their parts as one of their mums is dying.
This is bad news for the panto (as well as for Alison's mum) as she in particular is a fantastic comic actress and really carries the show. Her timing and her deadpans to the audience are superb. And her part is pretty huge. She plays a french lothario sea captain who romances the dame, Sherry Trifle. The chemistry between her, a woman playing a bloke and the bloke playing Sherry is wonderful. Now the poor old director is having to learn her part and step in and although he's pretty good, it just won't quite be as funny. They haven't had the rehearsal time together for one thing.
I'm stepping in for her partner who plays the second-in-command in the Rat Pack. We are playing the rats as 1920's Noo Yawk gangsters, I'm Deano Martino. It is not a massive part but very comedic. There is a lot of interplay between the 4 rats and quick lines, not to mention the Noo Yawk accent which I have had to work on as well as learning my lines. I'm getting there although my accent is more "slightly camp black drug dealer" than "eye-talian mobster" for some reason. It works though so it will just have to do!!
I have 4 main scenes and have learned 3 of them this evening as well as getting on top of the accent and the moves. I will do another few hours on it tomorrow to really nail them and finish off the 4th short scene and hopefully will be off script on Sunday. Aaaargh - this is scary.
Not only that, I still have to do the camel thing so have to work on the dance routine for that on Sunday as well as, while we can just about follow the moves,we have no idea where we should be on stage and how we are going to avoid treading on the junior chorus!
So, as a result of all this, I did not go with Rich and his dad to Wigan for the footie. Instead I stayed as home and learned my lines and seriously freaked out the dogs. They did not like my accent or my ratty moves! I watched the match on the telly and, although we won, it was rubbish so I did not miss much.
Perhaps as a result of focusing on everything but diet and exercise, I have been good. No time to cook or eat I suppose. I went for a run when I was over at Dad's - opened my February account with a brisk 4.7 km - and was rewarded this morning with a glimpse of fresh fat - 16.5! Wonder if I can hold onto it. I feel as though I might be brewing a sore throat or cough which is truly awful timing so I dosed myself up with a hot toddy this evening INSTEAD OF the piece of Christmas cake I had budgeted for. Get me with the self- restraint and that.