Walking myself slim

This year I am going to lose 3 stones. Or 42lbs. Or 19 kilos. Whichever. I’m not going ‘to aim’ to lose 3 stones, or ‘hope to lose’ 3 stones, I am going to lose 3 stones.

Like many people my age (56) I’ve tried approximately 3 million different diets. In my younger days I tried eating only fruit (I lasted an hour), or only cabbage soup (an impressive 3 days) and I have worked my way through low calorie, low fat, low carb, Slimming World, 5:2, cutting out wheat and sugar. In other words I’ve tried everything. And guess what? I’m fatter than ever!

This is not the fault of any one diet – they all work if you stick to them. My problem is I like food too much. I don’t like crap food. I’ve never liked fizzy drinks – diet or full-fat – have never had a sweet tooth, don’t particularly like crisps and definitely don’t like processed food. I like cooking and I like cooking good, healthy food. Protein and veg, salads, yummy stuff. I also like bread, particularly sourdough bread and this is probably my main downfall. I also eat far too much food.

So what’s a (fat) girl to do? Just give up and meander into old age and type 2 diabetes with a resigned shrug of the shoulder? I don’t know, I have no answers.

In attempt to find the answers I wondered if walking – lots – could be the answer. I like walking, I’m quite happy walking along with my own thoughts. I tend to go for a walk when I think about it, when the weather’s nice, when I’ve been feeling cooped up. But what about if I made walking my weapon of choice? Would it work? Can it work?

I started googling ‘blogs about people who have walked themselves slim’. I wanted to see startling results! Confirmation that my idea is indeed the way forward! But… nothing. If there are blogs out there I couldn’t find them and I am a demon googler.

So, on my walk today, I decided that if there were no blogs about walking yourself slim then I would start one. Will it work? Just walking lots? I don’t know. But I aim to find out and this blog will be my record.

 

Experiments

 

 

‘Tis the end of summer. I have put on 3 kilos, or half a stone, but I’ve enjoyed every mouthful. It has been a summer of barbecues, steam fairs, festivals, camping fry ups (see photo) cider, bread and more bread. It has not been a summer conducive to becoming a lean, mean, fighting machine. So in an attempt to mitigate the worst effects of having a bloody lovely summer I’ve been experimenting. Having lost 20 kilos the very, very last thing I want to do is to have to do it all over again. That would be horrible.

I have tried various mitigation attempts. This has ranged from eating two meals a day, to doing the 5:2 diet, to only eating one blow out meal a day. And I can report back. They’ve all worked after a fashion, in that if I hadn’t tried them I would have put on far more than half a stone, but what’s been interesting is what I can live with, or not live with.

The 5:2 diet – I followed this properly a few years ago, with some success, but I couldn’t keep it up. Essentially I was miserable for 2 days a week. In fact I was miserable for 4 days a week as I would also be miserable the day before a 500 calorie day, in anticipation. So it just wasn’t sustainable long term.

One blow out meal a day: yes it was lovely to have whatever I wanted. Puddings, wine, sourdough bread – bring it on! And weight wise it worked. I didn’t gain but annoyingly I also didn’t really lose much. And I missed my lunch. I felt hard done by, angry.

Two (fairly sensible) meals a day: this was much better. I could still have my humungous salad at lunchtime and a normal(ish) tea, in that I allowed myself a few carbs such as pasta, rice or potatoes. But I didn’t overdo it. This definitely worked, in that I didn’t feel massively deprived and had I not had too many meals off plan when eating away from home I probably would’ve lost weight.

I have done very little exercise the past 3 months, due largely to my breast operation, but also because of laziness if I’m honest. It’s been too hot to do fast walks and I wasn’t allowed to lift weights so that just left swimming. Now I have absolutely no excuse when it comes to swimming. I am enormously fortunate to live only a 2 minute walk from a lovely beach. We have had the best summer on record. So I’ve been every day, right? Wrong. For some reason I’ve only swum a handful of times. I blame busyness (with work) and partly laziness.

But now! Stand aside! I’ve reacquainted my body with an exercise class. I recorded my highest weight for many months on Monday, which has both depressed and galvanised me. I’ve never been able to get below 75kg for anything other than a couple of days so I would love to get to a new low.  So, after a 3 month hiatus I did a bars, bells and balls class on Tuesday. I was nervous, god knows why, but it was great to be back.

I have also started walking again now the weather has cooled down. Walked 8 miles yesterday. Four of them unintentional. (Got lost).

I need to do this. My daughter is getting married next year and I need to look bloody gorgeous.

Breast Reduction Operation

My diary!

I read so many blogs written by women who had had breast reductions in the lead up to the operation that I thought you never know, one day someone might be helped by mine. So here goes.

My partner and I drove up to Plymouth the night before the op and we stayed in Future Inns by the hospital. The beds were comfortable and the food was ok. They were also incredibly helpful when I left my phone charger in my bedroom the next morning (my partner was already half way back home to Falmouth when I realised).

I checked into the Nuffield at 7am. All was good (apart from panic about phone charger). Nurses were lovely, catering staff were lovely, surgeon and anaesthetist also very lovely. I was slated to go under the knife around 12 noon but it ended up being about 2pm so I did get a bit bored and hungry. However I was thoroughly looking forward to enjoying the snacks I’d bought on the way up once I came round. This was something someone suggested in another blog. Whoever that person was, thank you! The ready cut up mango at midnight was beyond delicious and I would have been bloody starving without it!

I was wheeled down to the operating theatre and the anaesthetist made some jokes which were actually quite funny so I wasn’t at all nervous. I was looking forward to a good sleep quite frankly. I came round several hours later with drains either side of me and, lo and behold, a small yet perky chest!

As my operation was later than expected I missed supper but I was brought an excellent tuna sandwich. Just as I was finishing it and just as the surgeon popped his head round the door to make sure I was ok everything started bleeping and I felt extremely weird. My BP had dropped, oxygen sats dropped, BPM had slowed right down. Suddenly I had 3 or 4 medics in the room attaching me to a drip, dropping the back of my bed etc. I was on 5 minute Obs and it was slightly surreal at the time, but only last about half an hour. It was a reaction to the anaesthetic I was told.

I ate my mango (thank you Sainsbury’s!) and had a bit of a fitful night because it feels all wrong lying upright on your back. At about 5am I needed the loo. I couldn’t put it off any longer. They were still doing half hour Obs so I asked a nurse how this could be achieved, as I had 2 drains and a drip attached to me. They brought in a commode and helped me onto it like I was 108 (I felt 108) and oh, the relief of relieving myself of urine! It’s always the small things!

I got back into bed and then ate more snacks. This time cheese and grapes. Food of the gods. I then properly slept for a couple of hours. Oh and a lovely nurse made me a cup of tea cos I was desperate. At 5am. What a wonderful woman.

At 8am I was woken up for the full English breakfast I had ordered. My God it was so delicious I am now trying to think what else I can have cut off me so I can spend a couple of days in the Nuffield. I sent my family a photo of the menu (and of the food) and they were gobsmacked. The nurse call button also had a photo of a teapot on it so that one could summon a pot of tea! How bloody civilised!

My poor son, he spends weeks in hospital and the food is dire. I think he was actually in shock that some hospitals believe in good nutrition being the starting point for recovery.

I spent the day dozing and reading and rather enjoying the things on the end of my legs that were giving me a foot massage every 30 seconds. I had suddenly decided (again) that my life wouldn’t be complete without a camper van so I whiled away the hours very happily researching campers for sale.

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I needed the loo again at one point but this time the nurse helped me carry the drains to the bathroom. I was also able to have a bit of a half shower which was wonderful. I put on my own nightdress and just generally felt so much better for it. I was in minimal pain. In the afternoon the drains were taken out. I was independent again! I could go to the loo in peace and quiet!

I had a gorgeous supper of chicken korma, rice, mango chutney and nan bread. Sticky toffee pudding and custard for afters!

 

I was able to sleep slightly on my side and slept like a log, waking up at about 6am. I had another full English breakfast and then Ian arrived to take me home. I’d been in just over 48 hours. Can’t fault the Nuffield, they were superb. Actually I can fault them – the wifi was a bit rubbish but that was all. We drove home and I went to straight to bed. I was still feeling very, very tired after the anaesthetic.

Day Four

I slept really well and then actually managed to wash my hair which was amazing as from what I’d read I was expecting not to be able to do so for at least a week. I was able to put a bra on (36D!) and I could put a T-shirt on over my head. I got up and pootled around a bit. I put a wash on and generally did a few chores, very gently.

Days 5 and 6 I spent more time just pottering around in the morning and sleeping in the afternoons. Still very tired, but not in much pain.

Day 7 I met a friend for coffee and Day 8 I was so bored I caught the train to Truro and walked round the shops and had a coffee for a couple of hours. Sat with a friend on the beach in the afternoon for a couple of hours then really felt like I’d overdone it a bit so I told myself off.

Day 8 Ian and I went looking for a camper van! And had lunch out. Interestingly the pain was starting to get slightly worse, I think as the swelling got worse. So I was still taking paracetamol and ibuprofen every 4 hours. Then the itchiness started, aaargh!

We had a weekend of barbecues with friends and lots of other social stuff and the afternoon naps became a thing of the past. Breasts still very swollen and sore though, especially towards the end of the day. I had been wearing very soft bras, but even they were starting to feel uncomfortable with the swelling so overnight I’ve been wearing those pull on, stretchy things and god, the relief.

Yesterday (Day 10) I had the stitches out. Mr McDiarmid (the surgeon who did the operation) is my new hero and has said I’m healing nicely. Weirdly my right breast has started to ooze a bit, but apparently this is all normal. Ok……

Woke up this morning and the itchiness is driving me mad! I had my first proper shower and took off the remaining steri-strips. Bliss. Had my first proper look at my breasts. Amazing. I am almost too perky for a 57 year old but I was assured by Mr McD that they would settle back down as gravity (and old age) takes its toll again. Apparently 580 mls of breast tissue was taken from one side and 470 mls  from the other. I had no idea I was so lop sided. I also had a bit of liposuction at the sides, so back fat is reduced too. Perfect.

Why the hell did I not do this years ago?! Now I just want to swim and get back to the gym. But… one day at a time. Things are good and I’m immensely grateful to all concerned that so far all is well.

 

Operation Day minus one

Yikes. It is nearly here. My breast operation. Bye bye massive mammaries. Hello cute little pert things. Ha! I wish. The truth is at 57 no amount of surgery is going to give me pert breasts. But. They will hopefully be smaller and for that I will be incredibly grateful. I will be able to exercise without getting a black eye! I will be able to turn over in bed at night without having to go back to fetch one of my breasts.

People keep asking me if I’m excited or scared. I am neither I don’t think. A little apprehensive maybe and I’m certainly not looking forward to the aftermath of the anaesthetic (I hate anaesthetics). I guess I’m just philosophical about it. My breasts have not reduced significantly in size despite having lost 3 stones so this is my treat to myself. I will no doubt wish I’d had them done sooner. This is what nearly everyone says.

Today we go up to Plymouth and stay overnight in a hotel near the Nuffield. I have to present myself at the hospital at 7am tomorrow and I am worried in case I sleep through an alarm. Not that I have ever slept through an alarm in my life but still, I’ve convinced myself this time I will. The hospital is 90 minutes’ drive from Falmouth so I want to make sure I’m there. And in any case staying overnight beforehand is a bit of a nice treat as we will be going to a Thai place to eat tonight. Having been on a low carb diet for what seems like forever I’m more excited about eating some noodles then I am having my breasts reduced.

I did some reading last night and apparently I’m not meant to have drunk any alcohol for the past couple of weeks. Oops. We had rather an exuberant barbecue on Sunday which involved vast quantities of gin with lemoncello. Oh. I have ordered a triangular pillow. Essential apparently. And am about to go into town to buy arnica and bio-oil.

It’s all getting a bit real. Gulp.

A 15kg gain

No, not me (thankfully), but my son. 15kg since Christmas. Since he had the tube fitted. I cannot tell you how unbelievably happy this makes me. 5 months ago I thought I would be saying goodbye to him. He had been going downhill for several months, he had become a walking skeleton. No energy, depressed, ill, ill, ill.

But now – my god now everything is so much better. He has gained a huge amount of weight since starting overnight tube feeds, we have been on holiday to Greece (photo above) and he has a tan, he is doing exercise at the gym. I literally cannot believe the transformation and I thank the universe daily. I know, absolutely, that with cystic fibrosis this too can change in an instant, but for now I am happy and utterly, utterly relieved.

As ever while my son is trying to gain weight I am trying to lose it. A month ago I wrote about the dreaded plateau and how I was hoping to shift things by doing a 48 hour fast. Well… roll of drums…. I actually did it. A 48 hour fast!! This to my mind is absolutely amazing. I felt so proud of myself I did another 36 hour one a few days later. But I found that one much harder for some reason. The upshot is I have lost….. nothing. Aargh! Nothing. Yes I did lost weight initially but even though I carried on with low carb food the weight still went back on and it has made no difference long term.

If I view it that it’s a good way of giving my pancreas a rest and therefore might help with insulin resistance then I might try it again. In terms of weight loss it doesn’t seem to work for me. But probably if I did it regularly it would. I’m just not sure I’m ready, yet, to fast regularly. I like my food too much! But… I can absolutely see that it would be a good way of dealing with stress. I get that. Something to do with the discipline of it all maybe.

My new weight loss MO is to have bits cut off me, by stealth. A week ago I had a lipoma removed. This fatty lump had been growing in my knicker line for 2 or 3 years and it was starting to get irritating. So I’ve paid to have it removed. What felt like a relatively small lump was actually huge in terms of the fat that came out of it!

lipoma

This be the lump!

Next week I am having my breasts reduced. Yep, that time has come. I’m quite looking forward to it. I think. I am looking forward to not having these pendulous things hanging in front of me. I am very grateful to them for being a positive asset when young but they are no longer fit for purpose. They need to go.

By way of preparation I am back to eating low carb, lots of veg, very little alcohol. Sob.

Yesterday’s menu

Br: fried halloumi and eggs

Lunch: huge salad with chicken, ham, olives and French dressing

Dinner: Pork chop and roast pepper traybake with leek and cabbage carbonara and cheesy aubergine bites. Yum.

I am probably mad but…

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…it’s got to be worth a try, right?

My weight has been very much Groundhog Day these past few months. I lost 20 kilos relatively easily in the first 9 months last year once I’d put my mind to it. Far, far more easily than I thought I would, having been on and off diets all my life.

But then the dreaded plateau struck and I’ve been hovering between 74.5 and 77 kilos for the past 6 months. God it’s boring. On the plus side at least I haven’t piled all the weight back on again for which I’m truly grateful. And I have learned what my maintenance diet is. Essentially fairly low carb most of the time with a bit of a bread, wine and cheese blow out when I’m away from home (which is quite often).

I refuse to give up my trips away from home as they keep me sane, surrounded as I am by various family members’ hideous illnesses and diseases which I often think affect me as much as they affect them. And I refuse to not eat delicious bread when I’m away from home. Life is too short for such denial. This attitude is my lardy downfall.

I would really, really like to get down to 70 kilos and then try and hover around that weight for ever more if at all possible. There will be ups and downs I know. I will still technically be overweight even then but that will do for me, being a woman of a certain age. Don’t want to get even more haggard and wrinkly looking.

So – what is a girl to do given that even when I am being ‘good’, like now, the scales still aren’t budging? Well… I have decided to try a 48 hour fast to shake things up a bit. I am probably mad. I have read Jason Fung’s Obesity Code, which is one of the best books about insulin resistance and how we have come to gorge on carbs by default that I have read. Dr Fung recommends fasting and actually if you’re in ketosis from low carbing it isn’t (allegedly) as horrendous as it sounds, as your appetite is already fairly suppressed.

Having started low carbing properly again on Monday I am edging towards ketosis I think and hopefully by tomorrow morning I’ll be in it. I’m planning on eating my last meal tonight and having my next meal on Saturday night. Is this even possible?! I will be recording my progress. Or lack of.

Today’s 3 mile walk was around Pendennis Head and up through Princess Pavilions (of which there is a picture of the grotto, above). Today’s food was a rasher of bacon and 2 eggs for breakfast. Lunch was chicken and salad out with friends. Dinner tonight will be steak and kidney pie without the pie, and veg. No wine. Gah.

That will be my last morsel of food until Saturday, 6.30pm. Gulp.

Eat Fat and Grow Slim(ish)

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I can’t recall a time I have ever been thin. Slim, yes, for about 5 minutes thirty years ago, but never thin. I first realised I was fatter than my friends when I was about eight I suppose, though the word ‘fat’ was never used. I was ‘chubby’, it was ‘puppy fat’. When I asked my Mum what puppy fat was she made it sound like it was going to magically disappear when I got to about 13. It didn’t.

So when I reached 13 and was still inexplicably larger than my friends I embarked on my first ‘diet’. Oh how I wish I could tell my thirteen year old self not to bother! It set in motion a life time of bloody dieting. I think my first diet was simply to eat fruit and nothing else. I lasted about a day.

When I got to 15 I heard about Dr Atkins and his revolutionary low carbohydrate diet. I read his book and others such as Pure, White and Deadly by John Yudkin. Eat Fat and Grow Slim by Richard Mackarness was another one. That was it; I was convinced. This time I really was going to lose weight and be beautiful.

And I did. Lose weight. About 20lbs. I wasn’t particularly beautiful but I was beautiful-er. I found it quite easy. No more slices of thick buttered toast when I came home from school, no more bars of Galaxy. Now it was cheese. I ate a lot of cheese. I took cheese and pickled onions on skewers for my lunch at school and my friends thought I was mad. But it worked.

However. Inevitably the weight crept back on. I kept it off through sixth form college but by the time I was 20 I was back to being somewhat porky. But then the boyfriend I absolutely adored did me a massive favour by buggering off to Paris with another girl (and borrowing money from little old unsuspecting me to do so) and the weight dropped off again. I was inconsolable. I had no appetite. I hoped that if I lost weight he would love me again. He didn’t. Bastard. He messed me around and screwed with my head. He was my official First Love, although now I think about it I did fall in love when I was 16 with a boy called Derek who tried to kill himself by taking 10 iron tablets when I dumped him.

The times when I have been slim have almost always been the result of severe emotional trauma. I need to break that cycle. I need to not be relying on the next catastrophe to lose weight. I need to grow up.

So here we are, forty years on, and I’m still low-carbing. In the intervening years I have tried every diet imaginable at some point and I can now safely say, after exhaustive research, that the only diet that works when you get to my age and have hypothyroid and metabolic disease is low carbohydrate. Or to use its current cooler name, ‘ketogenic’. The sad thing is that after years of dieting I can’t even get away with eating much cheese on a low carb diet. And that is a very sad state of affairs.

Escaping

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Whilst in the midst of my ‘I could scream’ mini breakdown my friend Eve told me she was going away for a few days. To Bexhill.

“Why Bexhill?” I asked.

“Because I’m thinking of moving there,” says she.

“What?! Why?! What’s wrong with here?!”

It turns out there’s nothing wrong with here, it’s just not home. Eve was born and brought up in the South-East and while she’s had a lovely time living in Cornwall the past 8 years it’s time to go home to where her family are.

We continued to amble along beside Loe Pool, as we do, chat, chat, chat when I said I was thinking of asking my brother if I could borrow his flat in London for a few days. Just to get away from my son, painful though that is for me to write. My brother spends half his time travelling and happens to have a lovely little flat in Camden.

“If he’s not going away you could always come to Bexhill with me,” said Eve.

“Why Bexhill? I ask again.

“I’ve been doing my research and it looks nice. I need to live by the sea and my budget rules out places like Brighton”.

So here we are in Bexhill. It is not nice it is a dump. It is soulless. There are endless shops devoted to old age: Alzheimers and Dementia Society, Mobility Aids, charity shops, many, many residential homes and funeral parlours. No doubt I will be delighted with all those things one day, but that day is not now. I cannot believe Eve is even considering it.

As the place that Eve booked had no space for me I did some googling and found myself a  bargain price hotel room. I totally lucked out. Eve’s place was grim, mine was fabulous. Lovely, comfy hotel: swimming pool, great bar, excellent breakfasts. The only downside to my otherwise very pleasant room was that the floor sloped at an angle of about 30 degrees, which was incredibly disconcerting whilst walking to the loo in the middle of the night, still half drunk.

The plan was to do lots of walking over the next few days to counteract the food I knew I would succumb to. As my hotel was a couple of miles outside Bexhill this was quite handy as it meant I more or less had to walk lots, just to get to Eve. Up and down Cooden Beach I walked, getting pebbles in my boots. My thighs are now strapping. I still managed to put on 4lbs in 4 days though. That takes some doing. I blame the hotel breakfasts. It just seemed rude to refuse the full English. Every. Single. Day.

Yum.

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I could scream

One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight over the years has been the need to cook highly calorific meals for my son, who has cystic fibrosis. The kitchen needs to have drawers full of chocolate, crisps, cakes etc, simply because he needs the calories. Of course he eats healthy meals as well, the cakes etc are the snacks he needs to make up the calories.

So I’ve never been able to simply ‘not buy any biscuits’, as many a diet article will tell you to do. I’ve always had to have these highly tempting things in my house. Still, despite the mountains of roast potatoes I’ve cooked over the years, Angus remains very thin. He is improving though now that he has a gastrostomy tube.

Anyway I digress. The reason I could scream is because despite loving my son very much I also find him so frustrating I feel like leaving home some times. He does nothing, or very little, to look after himself. When he’s in hospital he always promises that when he gets out he’s going to do more exercise, lift more weights, maybe get a part time job, be more helpful round the house etc, but he never, ever does. I went away to Center Parcs for a weekend recently and when I got back he’d not taken his tablets. The tablets that I help him make up, in little pots, that sit by the chair he sits in when he’s watching television in the sitting room. I couldn’t make it any easier for him.

If he doesn’t take his tablets he will deteriorate very quickly and end up back in hospital. Which he professes to hate. I have tried everything to motivate him. Bought him a treadmill so he doesn’t have to leave home to get his exercise (what the hell was I thinking?) I have paid for memberships to racket sport clubs. I have suggested he might be depressed and told him to go the doctor. He was prescribed a low starting dose of citalopram and then never went back to get the dosage increased to an actual therapeutic dose. I have offered to pay for 6 counselling sessions. He went to one, said it was quite useful, but then refused to go to any more. I have paid for holidays, meals out, take-aways every night he’s in hospital, bought him a car so that he could do a college course that he’s never capitalised on, the list is bloody endless.

But. I’ve had enough. The final straw was when I found myself bribing him, financially, to take his medicines, do exercise etc. Even that didn’t work. I have to just accept that if Angus wants to be ill and stay ill then that is his right. But I don’t have to put up with it going on in my house. Angus will always hold the trump card because if he gets ill, which he can do very quickly, then he knows whatever hard stance I am trying to take will melt away in my panic that I’m going to lose him.

I have lost one son (not to cystic fibrosis but an accident) and I don’t want to lose another. But I have to just accept that I probably will. I now have to try some tough love, knowing all the while that in the short term, and maybe the long term, it might make Angus’s health worse. It is shit. But I am all out of ideas. I’m quite terrified of implementing the plan my daughter and I have come up with (which is that he goes to live with her for a bit, she won’t stand any nonsense from him) but if I’m honest I’m more terrified of what I will do if I don’t take this stand. I am so close to just running away. I’ve had years of this and I’m worn down with it all.

***

Last week we had snow. Actual, lying on the ground snow. In Falmouth! This is quite unheard of as we normally have mild winters and we are on the coast. In terms of walking myself slim it was fantastic because I couldn’t bear to stay in, I was out in it, walking miles, taking photos, slithering around but having the best time.

In dieting news I am so fed up of losing and gaining the same few pounds that I’m now trying a bit of 16:8. That is, I only eat in a window of 8 hours. So I’ve been skipping breakfast. Now I’m not one of those mysterious people who ‘can’t possibly face food first thing’. No, I am one of those people who LOVES breakfast. In fact it’s probably my favourite meal. So this is quite hard but so far I’ve been replacing breakfast with either an exercise class or a bottle of fizzy water. I will report back as to how it’s going. Or not!

 

The Great Flat Lode is far from flat

For a long time I’ve wanted to walk the Great Flat Lode, or at least part of it. This is a long trail around the old tin mines near Redruth and as many of my ancestors were tin miners and both my parents were born and brought up in the area it has particular significance for me. I am also a woman in want of a flatter stomach and a good old hike is a step (excuse pun) in the right direction.

Lo and behold what should pop up on Facebook a couple of weeks ago but a lady who likes rambling and who likes people to join her on her walks who just happened to be leading a walk around The Great Flat Lode. She calls herself Cornish Ramblings. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time but haven’t been quite brave enough to do. ie just announce a walk I’m about to do on Facebook and see if anyone’s interested. Jodi is her name and good for her for being braver than me and inviting others who like being led on a walk, to be led.

I like both exploring by myself (I am never happier than with a map in my hand) and I like being led. With the latter there is no thinking involved and also you can have a good natter to whoever happens to be walking along beside you. If you don’t gel then no bother, you just drift apart and the next person you strike up a conversation with could end up being your next best friend. It is quite brilliant.

After weeks of rain the Gods were shining on us as was the sun. We had a fantastic walk though the name is a misnomer as it is far from flat. We even walked past the house by father grew up in, in Carnkie, and the house my mother was born in, in Four Lanes. We also walked past Carnkie village hall where there is a little plaque dedicated to my father. Such fame! It was six miles of heaven as two of my closest friends, Jan and Denise, came too, and we put the world to rights at the top of Carn Brea.

In dietary terms things Are Not Going Well. My friend Tamara gave a tea party for another friend Natalia, for her birthday. Tam makes the most wonderful cakes and I ate about 7 of them. And sandwiches. Well it was rude not to.

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Guns ‘n’ beaches

IMG_0175Out on my usual 3 mile stroll around Pendennis Head I came across two men with a gun. One of them was shooting something down on the beach. I stood on the footpath and watched them – they had no idea I was there. I took a photo. I carried on staring at them, wondering when and if they’d notice me, and if so what they’d do. Eventually one of the men turned round and looked somewhat alarmed to see me. At this point it occurred to me that it might not be an air rifle but a fully loaded shot gun so I decided not to hang around any longer and continued on my way.

Just round the bend, the other side of the cove, where there’s a good view of where the men had been standing I turned to look. They’d gone. I was perplexed. Was what they were doing legal? They were so brazen it seemed to me it must be. But then I started to question it so mentioned it on Facebook where the conclusion from friends was that yes, I should report it to the police.

Which I did. And now the police are saying I should have dialled 999. Aargh! They’ve also asked me to keep an eye out for the men when I next go for a walk so this is going to make my daily constitutional much more interesting.