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.

Shrinking breasts

One of my motivating factors for wanting to lose weight was my consultation with Mr Breast-Reduction Man a year and a bit ago. He stared at my nakedness and told me I was too fat to have my breasts reduced. He did me the most massive, massive favour. He was right, god damn him, I could no longer pretend that if I had smaller breasts I would look thinner. I would still be fat but with perkier breasts. Perkier breasts deserved a better body to go with them than I was able to offer at that time.

He sent me away and told me to lose a stone. I lost three. Yes! I was really looking forward to presenting my new lighter self in his consulting rooms and being lavished with praise and a date for reducing my (still huge) breasts.

But something happened on the day of the consultation. Roads were blocked, the venue was changed last minute and I was also told that in any case the consultant didn’t do his operations in the Duchy Hospital any more. It was just before Christmas, I was worried sick about my son, irritated with the consultant’s secretary for being so incompetent so I just gave up on it and cancelled. The consultant, mortified at his secretary potentially costing him a lucrative operation, offered to see me in January instead, for free.

I was going to go. But then something happened in my brain. I realised I just wasn’t so bothered about it any more. Yes my breasts are still huge but they’re not quite as huge as they were. I’ve discovered Curvy Kate bras which repackage my breasts very well into something almost verging on perky. In short, I think I have reached peak boob job obsession and come out the other side. And saved myself several thousand pounds and recovery time when I’ve got enough on my plate as it is.

Today’s walk involved my friend Eve which was the best news as, due to illnesses, holidays and generally shit weather I haven’t seen her since before Christmas. We had a lot of catching up to do. A LOT. We covered every topic, as we generally do and she revealed that she’s thinking about moving back to the South-East. No!!!! She lives in Carbis Bay and this is the problem I told her. People move to Carbis Bay to live out their final years before they die. She is far too young for this. I am on a mission to persuade her to move to Falmouth, which, as everyone who lives here knows, is the best place on earth. She is unconvinced.

Yesterday I walked 12,000 steps. For breakfast I had bircher, for lunch I had tuna salad and for supper I had 2 pork steaks, sweet and sour peppers, creamed leeks and cabbage. This morning I weighed 75.1kg. It would seem I simply cannot get down to my previous lowest weight of 74.1kg. And I’m getting bloody fed up of it!

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Tumultuous Times

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…And……..breathe….. ┬áIt’s been a difficult few months. My son has been in and out of hospital, culminating early on Boxing Day by his needing to be rushed to A&E, having difficulty breathing. I kind of knew we were building up to it, but when it happened, and because it happened so suddenly, it was horrible. He had been hiding how ill he was.

I spent the next few days utterly terrified that he was on his way out. If not right then then in a few months’ time. Angus had a gastrostomy tube fitted in December and this had not gone well. He’d been in pain and without access to the painkillers he really needed (as it turned out), so he stayed in bed a lot. Staying in bed a lot when you have cystic fibrosis is wrong, wrong, wrong. You simply cannot do that. You have to keep moving. So that your lungs keep moving. If the alveoli in your lungs are constantly moving it is much harder for a bacteria to take hold and unleash micro bacterial havoc.

I visited my son every day, sometimes twice a day. We watched the stats. How much oxygen was he taking in? Too little, he needed extra O2. What about heart rate? Far too high; signs of infection (and also lung damage). I cried when I wasn’t with him. He was so thin it was impossible to see how he could still be alive. I have watched one of my children get thinner and thinner, and then die, I railed at the universe that I might have to do it again. It seemed impossibly cruel.

And then. A miracle. Angus turned a corner. The antibiotics started working. The gastrostomy tube stopped being so painful. Food was being absorbed through it overnight. This in turn led to his appetite starting to return. I could see – physically see – in his face, that he was putting on weight.

Another miracle: Angus somehow (and I have no idea how this happened) managed to improve enough so that we could go on our pre-booked family holiday to Lanzarote. Medical supplies and permissions from airports were hastily arranged. We needed to take seven huge feeding bottles in our hand luggage; way, way over the normal liquid allowance but it was all ok because Angus had a note!

As a result of us all expecting not to be going and then going we had the best holiday ever. The sun shone, Angus ate, Sorcha and Matt played pool by the pool, Ian and I swam in the sea. My mother though – aargh – managed to fall over at the airport before we’d even picked up our hire car and spent the rest of the week looking like a victim of domestic abuse.

This tale of woe has meant that my weight has been up and down and all around the houses. But some interesting stats: I started this #walkingmyselfslim campaign at 94kgs. Exactly one year later on 4th January 2018 I was 76kgs. I’m bloody proud of that! I have now been 76kg for about 3 months though…

I am still in the overweight area of the BMI chart though so I really, really need to lose some more. So… I AM BACK! Let the walking re-commence!

Today’s walk was round Mylor and Pandora. We even woke up to a little bit of snow, unheard of in Cornwall. ‘Twas lovely.