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Mushroom

         The world in general has shrunk for most people at the moment, day in, day out, same old, same old … At times like these a good imagination is invaluable.

         Today the mind is wandering back to The New Forest, the wild horses roam freely in their thick winter coats, hardly bothered by the fact that the recent rains have turned parts of their playground into giant swimming pools. My toes wriggle freely, protected by my wellies as my feet squelch in and out of muddy puddles. There’s no rain today, but the wide brim of my rain hat is just as suited to keeping the low winter sun out of my eyes as it is to keeping the rain spots off my glasses. My world is at peace, Hubby is enjoying the vastness of the view, and me? I’m squatting precariously on one heel to get the right angle to catch a picture of a brightly coloured mushroom for a future memory.

         It’s a fairy mushroom, obviously, why would it not be?

         There’s a tiny flutter of wings in the air as a fairy arrives over my shoulder, a slight breeze catches my ear and a wing tip brushes past my cheek. She lands daintily on my mushroom and looks up quizzically at me. No words pass our lips but I adjust my balance and glance at the horse in the distance. She settles herself into my picture, sitting on top of the mushroom, one leg outstretched and the other bent with her hands wrapped around her knee, perfectly posed, she flexed her wings and threw her head back for her sunlight to light her face.

         Memory captured, I regain a more secure footing and follow Hubby off into the forest, a glance over my shoulder for a smile and a nod in the direction of the mushroom secures the memory and I return to join Hubby with an extra spring in my step.

         More from before : Nestled in the “New Forest“.

Willpower

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          I have plenty of willpower, that’s not a problem of mine… It’s the “WON’T” power that I struggle with.   I’m far happier when using the scales in the picture above than using the ones in the bathroom.   However, needs must, I do tend to comfort eat, and the whole world is in need of a little comforting at the moment.  But my problem is that little old lady who jumps in front of me when I look in a mirror, has taken up residence in my wardrobe where she secretly sews extra seams into my clothes to make them smaller.  Not only that, but she’s recently taken to standing on the bathroom scales with me too now.

          The last time I stood on the scales they didn’t quite shout “one at a time please” but I’m sure I heard them groan, so enough is enough.

          I don’t enjoy eating, I’ve never had a happy relationship with food, I eat to live, not the other way around, so bearing in mind I don’t eat very much, I’m going to have to change what I eat to reverse the upward trend of the numbers on the tape measure.

          It’s no secret that I like the sweeter things in life, my idea of a balanced diet is a custard cream in each hand, my eating habits are just that… Habits.

          I have tried to add a few healthy habits, my attempt at “Healthy snacking” wasn’t a complete disaster.  My little boxes for healthy snacks are often to be found in the fridge, I have had jellies in them on many an occasion, but the fruit portions the boxes were planned for are sometimes there too.

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         My last attempt at infiltrating my dieting habits with a little bit of healthy eating worked slightly, the “Cashews” in the “Jars” have turned into a small handful at breakfast time each day, but the apricots have definitely fallen by the wayside. 

          As a youngster I was really skinny, I could eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight… Oh how wonderful that would be now… But unfortunately I have to put a little more thought into the fuel for the body that has grown around me. 

          I’m a great believer of  “You are what you eat” – I know lots of people are skeptical here, and some with very good reason, but I read the book, expecting to just be pleasantly entertained and was surprised to find myself agreeing with so much of the “storyline” that I thought harder about what I ate, and what the results were.  Basically, if I were a car and filled up on a perfectly tailored fuel I would run like a dream, but if I just put any old junk in the fuel tank, then I must accept different results.

          My body reacts so strongly to anything I do to it that its not difficult to work out what it needs.  For instance, I’m fighting to stop a bad head turning into a migraine right now, and slowly winning, but my weopen of choice is not pills or potions and a darkened room, no, it’s water, just simply water.

          I’ve just competed my week in work, I don’t do as many days now that I’ve managed to finally reach that “Semi-retirement” stage, but I know I don’t drink enough water on a work day and need to drink more in the evening to compensate.  This week I’ve worked the extra overtime shift, plus I spent a good part of yesterday “inspecting the inside of my eyelids” on the sofa after an early shift, followed by an early night and another early start today so the extra liquid intake time just disappeared … you’d think I’d have learnt to avoid getting to the bad head stage by now wouldn’t you. No, but I have learnt how to catch it before it blows up into a migraine.

          My migraines are triggered mainly by what food I eat, or don’t eat and I’ve managed to incorporate the required balance of this foodstuff into my habit formed lifestyle.   If I can find just a couple of changes and turn them into habits then that might just be enough to tip the scales back in my favour.

          Let’s face it though, me getting up each morning and going for a ten mile run before breakfast just isn’t going to happen so I think I’m going to have to find something food related.

          Wish me luck, I’ll let you know how I get on.

          Oh, look at the first picture again, look past the scales and out through the kitchen window.  I’ve inadvertently caught a picture of the “Other end” of the garden.  This was before I pulled off the old blue cladding, and you can see the strategically placed garden ornaments to help prevent me stepping through the rotten decking.

Stay Safe

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        There was a time when I didn’t leave the house by choice for days when it was raining.  Eventually I came to realise that it wasn’t the rain keeping me indoors, it was the way I looked at it.  I bought myself some large umbrellas, including an orange one, of course, and one designed like a giant sunflower.  I added to these my pair of wellies and ventured out into the weather with my camera.

          Upon moving to Weymouth, I found that although it didn’t seem to rain as often as it had in Oxfordshire, the strong winds here turn the showers into horizontal rain and render my large umbrellas not much more than useless.

          I bought myself a long waterproof mac.  It came with a detachable hood, but hats are much more my thing and far be it for me to pass up the chance to buy a new one, so I bought a rain hat to match my mac.

          With my hair bundled up into my hat, my coat zipped up under my chin and my feet protected by my wellies I set off out to brave this new world of horizontal rain.

          As the rain dripped off the rim of my hat and ran away down the outside of my mac, I waded through puddles in my green and orange wellies like a five-year-old, and if the weather was wet enough to wear my waterproofs to work, then I would wade in the sea on my way home.

          I was reminded of a blog from a friend in Norway where she often said “there’s no such thing as bad weather, there is just the wrong clothing.

          Since this new virus has been here, my confidence has taken a huge battering.  I work for a supermarket chain and so have been going to work throughout the pandemic as its been unfurling.  I am a creature of habit and so I have found it very hard to adjust to the new measures needed.  I only work three days a week,  but even staying at home for my four days, I find it very difficult to step out of the safety of my home into the “new normal” which has been created to keep us all safe.  I honestly think that if I hadn’t had to go to work each week I would have become some sort of hermit, retreating into the sanctuary of my home in the physical world, but retreating further into myself and rattling around in my head with the fairies, and unicorns until a time I felt safe enough to come back out again, if ever.

          The world outside is starting to wake up, stepping out into the new normal.  The things I long for, visiting with my girls, coffee and cake with friends, these aren’t the norm yet, but I can buy what I need, I can walk in the park and meet people out of doors.  Social distancing, it seems, is the way forward, washing hands often, using hand sanitiser, and standing in queues. And if face coverings and protective gloves are the right types of clothing to move this strange reality forward then so be it.

          I can’t fully embrace this new way with open arms, it’s all so different, with too many changes, but I’m going to just put one foot in front of the other and see how far that gets me, stepping out into the here and now, where the words “Stay Safe” have turned into a casual greeting.