I woke up to the sound of rain, questioned myself on why I watered all the plants last night and then promptly fell back to sleep. I woke well after the alarm went off. I hadn’t even noticed Loved one getting out of bed to boil the kettle.
Eventually I set off on my usual twelve-minute run walk. The physio fairy hadn’t visited me over night so my achillies was still sore
I decided I needed a few more hills in my cycling diet so I headed up Montacute Road. It starts out as a slight ramp and slowly over the course of many kilometres subtly turns up the pressure. I’d come down it on Tuesday from the top of the corkscrew so I thought I knew what to expect. I was very wrong. It kept going up and then just when I thought that there was no more up it went up again. Then at the top it went up some more. Once I finally reached the top though there was only one way to go and I went that way at speed. It was fun but I still don’t like climbing on a bike.
I got home, showered and had lunch. I found it very easy to sit down but very difficult to get up again. My legs were complaining about their treatment and wanted to stay still. My mind wanted to do things but my legs felt that they had a veto over this.
Eventually I levered myself from the sofa and headed into the garden. There were a few things that I needed to finish off so that I could truly say that the gardening had been done. I completely ignored those jobs and went into a full pottering trance. Some things got done some things didn’t.
My mind turned to food. I caught myself consuming far more food that I could have possibly used cycling. There was only one thing to do, make more. A cauliflower had been sitting in the fridge for a while and I decided that I needed to have another attempt at making cauliflower toast. This time I used the blender to chop up the cauliflower. This gave a much smoother mix. I heated it in the microwave and then attempted to drain it. I’m sure that I didn’t get it as dry as I should but I needed to move on to adding the cheese and egg because time was moving on. I slapped it all in a hot oven and hoped for the best.
Loved One got home just in time to inhale the savoury smells coming from the oven and for the first tasting. It was amazingly Moorish and startlingly savoury. I still think that the final result should be a little dryer so I’ll have to have another attempt in the near future.
I had the feeling that sitting down would be game over. I was right.
I really didn’t want to get up this morning. It was dark due to the clocks changing and I’d been woken up by various strange noises. All of the noises could be explained by wind rattling doors but I preferred to interpret it as an axe welding murderer stalking around the house looking for victims. I worry about my imagination sometimes.
I had to give loved one a lift to work today as I needed to car for various reasons. I have no idea how I actually got to her office, I was asleep.
We had run out of food so shopping had to be done. The floor was dirty so mopping needed to be done. I hatched a plan to mop the floor and leave it to dry whilst I was shopping. It was a good plan apart from one flaw. It hadn’t dried by the time I got back. I had to mop it again to remove all my dirty food prints.
I had another visit to the Physio at lunch time. We seem to have got to the end of what she can do and it is down to me to keep stretching until the internal plumbing in the left leg is the same length as the plumbing in the right leg. She gave me yet another deep tissue massage. There were no particular pain points, in fact, I was almost asleep by the end. It genuinely worries me that it will never be right and I’ll never be able to run pain free again.
I had things to avoid doing and gardening seemed to be the perfect way to avoid doing anything serious. I planted the peas and thinned out the herbs. That took a lot longer than I expected. It had been a hot day and things had started to wilt. I watered and watered and watered until all of my green babies could drink to their fill. It is almost guaranteed to rain tonight.
Loved one and I went for a pre-dinner stroll along the river tonight. The sun was fading and nature was preparing for the night. The frogs were being particularly noisy tonight. It was a perfect way to increase the appetite.
I’d prepared another Ratatouille for dinner this evening but I have a feeling that I had cut the Aubergine far too thickly. I will have to have another go and get it right. Once I do I’ll stop making it.
The clocks changed on Sunday but the full impact of the change came this morning. It was dark when the alarm went off. The thought of getting out of bed was being pushed into the recesses of my mind by the thoughts of staying in bed until the sun had actually made an appearance.
I went for my therapeutic twelve-minute run walk this morning. It was an unremarkable run and my achilles was sore when I finished. I feel that this is going to go on for a long time.
I’ve been eyeing up some of the climbs into the hill for a few weeks now. My research has included looking at maps and imagining the pain. This has put me off for a while but I decided this morning that I would take on gorge road and the corkscrew. Before I left I took one last look at the map and tried to memorise the route. I started off on the familiar paths of the linear park but instead of turning round at the bridge of doom I carried on an hit the tarmac.
Gorge road wasn’t as steep as I thought it was. In fact, I was moving along at a fair speed. I was quite happy with that. The gradients started to get a little tougher as I climbed but a couple of bikers amused me by zooming past me three or four times. As I got to the reservoir where the road started to flatten I discovered what they were doing. Another biker was laying in the corner camera in hand taking action shots of them coming up the final part of the climb. They were all crowed round his screen when I returned to look at the fruit of his labour.
By the time I got to the reservoir I realised that I had missed the turning. I turned around and freewheeled downhill, stopping only to ask some road workers some directions. The start of the corkscrew was relatively benign but it soon started to tighten the thumbscrews. The gradient got progressively steeper right up to where the hairpin bends started. At one point I had to stop to “take a drink” due to the gradient and my lack of fitness. I looked up and hoped that the road I could see above me was the top of the hill. Then I saw the van that had just passed me chugging along it and I knew that it wasn’t. As I got near the top the writing on the road appeared. The main theme was that if you are fat you should eat a vegan diet. Strangely, the only vegan I’ve ever met was obese. It was a relief to reach the top and start freewheeling downhill.
A truck appeared in front of me and thankfully gave me a very good excuse not to go too quickly down the hill. It also meant that no one really wanted to overtake me and the truck. It felt safer that way. I freewheeled nearly all the way home. I felt I deserved it after the two climbs.
Once I’d removed the street grime and sweat I set about finishing off a few bits of the gardening that were left over from the weekend. I didn’t get it all done because I felt I should leave a few things for tomorrow.
We had friends found for dinner this evening so it was time for some fancy, but quick meal preparation. We started with the remains of the olive Hummus I’d made a few days ago and then moved onto Salmon and salad with a few boiled potatoes. This was all washed down with some beer and wine. I was flagging by the end of the meal. The effects of the ride started to hit me.
We started the day with a swim as it was a public holiday. The water was clearer today so we could see more, not that there was much to see today. We didn’t go too far as swimming for four days on the trot starts to take its toll after a while.
We did the traditional public holiday visit to the DIY store on the way home to arm ourselves with things to help our afternoon in the garden. A local surf lifesaving club was doing a sausage sizzle outside the store. We felt that we had to support them.
We had no food in the house and most of the food stores were closed. This posed a bit of a dilemma as we would need to eat later. After doing a tour of empty car parks and closed stores we found somewhere that was open. We could eat!
There were a lot of jobs that needed doing in the garden so we set about cleaning out the garage and then the shed. They were both tidied to within an inch of their lives. Then we decided that plants needed potting. Once all that was done we got round to doing what we had actually intended to do. However, the enthusiasm was waning and things started to take longer than they should. I made a mental note to finish things off during the week and put the tools away in the now tidy shed.
I like boiled cabbage and we had some cabbage in the fridge. I garnished the cabbage with a couple of small lamb chops.
I slowly came around and did an inventory of my body parts. All were present and correct. I felt that something was missing. Then I realised that the headache that I should have had wasn’t there. Either I was extremely lucky or I was still somewhat under the influence.
We went down to the beach for a swim. I had a feeling that the cold water would be a kill or cure for my constitution. The water was clearer today and I could see a lot more than normal. I was wearing new goggles and they were surprisingly clear of scratches and blurs. I could see so much more. It almost took my mind off the tiredness and impending hangover.
I got home and gave up. I needed to catch up on sleep and let my body recover. The last thing I remember was sitting on the bed. There were reports that my snoring was mistaken for an impending storm.
We decided that we needed a bit of culture so we headed into town for the Asia festival. We knew there was a limit on numbers so we went a bit earlier to make sure we got in. Once in we did a tour of the food trucks to select our dinner. Having not eaten for a long time we were both feeling peckish. We settled on a pork roll with a side of spring rolls. We then found a spot to view the proceedings.
There was a lot of dancing going on. Ladies dressed in red moved slowly to music and dragons pranced up and down. It was lovely watching them but as the sun went down the wind started to feel cold. We started to wish that we had brought thicker coats, a blanket to sit on and maybe some small camping chairs.
Once the sun was truly down the main event began. The lanterns were paraded round the park. These things were huge. The leading dragon took a whole team of people to carry it’s component parts. Some of the lanterns were a little bazar like the one that was just a company logo but all of them were impressive. We waited until all the lanterns had filled the park before we headed home for a warm drink.
We started the day with a swim in the sea. The water if definitely warming up. Someone told us it was about fourteen degrees. We were joined by a few of the summer swimmers today. Their opinion of the temperature was at odds with ours. We were told afterwards that we were followed by a dolphin. The visibility in the water was poor so we didn’t see it. I was disproportionally upset about this.
Today was a big day for the city. The football team were in the grand finale. The streets started to empty about an hour before the game as people headed for pubs and front rooms. We headed to a friend’s house for a seat in front of a large television and a BBQ. The team looked good for the first ten minutes but then it all went downhill. The other team comprehensively beat our team. There were tears, there was snarling there was disappointment. Grown men broke down with grief at the end of the match. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
There were sorrows that needed drowning and there was a bottle of whiskey that could be used for the purpose. We all knew it would lead to a painful morning but needs must.
The evening ended with each of us taking a turn in selecting a song from a streaming service. I have a feeling that everyone thought that everyone else’s taste in music was rubbish and theirs was far superior.
I was woken up by heavy rain hitting the roof this morning, this made me want to pull the sheets over my head and ignore the world. Unfortunately, the urge to visit the loo was much stronger that the urge to stay in bed.
I did my new stretching regime this morning. This one includes the heel lower on a step to increase the range of motion. It hurt! I was not happy about that. It made me quite miserable for some time after
I got a text just after lunch to say that my bike was ready to pick up. I had a look at my new app to see when the next bus was. It took me a while to work out how to use the app and during that time the bus had been and gone. I decided to walk instead.
The schools were disgorging so the traffic was a bit heavy. This made the ride home interesting. It was made uncomfortable by the fact that I was wearing jeans. I didn’t want to walk to the shop wearing cycling shorts and I dislike wearing a back pack on the bike so I had very little option. I have not cycled wearing jeans for a long while and now I know why. It’s uncomfortable.
I fiddled around in the garden for a little while. I now have a very neat, tidy, fertilized and trimmed lawn. I felt enthusiastic so I trimmed the nature strip as well. This took longer than it should have as nuts and bolts fell off the mower and I had to hunt in the grass for them. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the mower was mine, but I’d borrowed it.
We went to the Masters swim session this evening. The set contained far more kicking than I liked. In fact, any kicking is more kicking than I like. Once my legs were completely tired the set moved onto sprints to tire out my arms. Once that was completed I entered the gliding or no gliding debate with the coach. Every coach has an opinion on this and this one was no different.
We finished off the evening with a visit to the pub. I went for a schnitzel because I like them. The bar man took me by surprise by asking what sauce I wanted with it. He suggested “Parmy” I just said yes. That was a mistake. It turned out that parmy was bacon and cheese mixed together and slapped on some sort of tomato base. In essence it turned a perfectly good schnitzel into a pizza base. I was completely unimpressed.
Even though my achilles was still a bit sore I decided that I would go for my usual twelve-minute run. I managed to get as far as the bridge and back this time and followed it with the new stretching regime. I long for the day when I can finish the run pain free.
I decided to start the day with a little bit of gardening, just to finish off the things that I had started yesterday. I now have a nice little herb garden and all the tomatoes are planted. The main problem with working in the garden is that there is always something else to do. I could stay there for hours.
I had another look at my bike and had to face the truth. Fixing the pedal was beyond my meagre capabilities, it needed to go to a bike shop. I carefully pedalled to the shop using one leg so that I didn’t do any more damage. The pedal looked very poorly by the time I got there. I was expecting the noise of air being sucked through teeth when I presented my bike. Instead they told me that it would be an easy repair. The quote for the work was a lot less than I’d been bracing myself for. What’s more, they could have it done by tomorrow. That made me happy
The downside to leaving my bike at the shop was a 45-minute walk back to the house. I felt slightly silly strolling down the road wearing my cycling clothes and carrying my helmet. The one small mercy was that I was wearing my mountain bike shoes and not my road shoes.
I decided that it was time to release my latest project on the world, I have a new blog, it’s about tea, beer and whisky and forms part of my quests to sample every beer produced in my new home. It is called “I don’t mind if I do”. It seemed like a good idea when I dreamt it up a while ago but it’s taken a long time to come to fruition. The main issue has been the drinking, which is a little at odds with my desire to lose weight.
I decided to celebrate the birth of the blog by making some Hummus. I’d been introduced to the concept of adding a few black olives to the mix at the agricultural show so I gave that a try. The result was really nice.
To stop me eating all the hummus I decided that my life needed some freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning. I picked a few oranges from the tree and squeezed enough to fill a bottle with juice. Juicing Oranges is very satisfying activity
I needed the car today so I had to drive Loved One to work. My original plan was to cycle but I was worried about the pedal breaking when I was half way there. This meant I could not enter the waking world at my own speed. This is very disagreeable
I turned up early for my appointment due to dire warnings about terrible traffic that didn’t come to pass. I filled the time by taking a short stroll on the beach and then bringing the beach into to waiting room. I apologised profusely for that.
Both stumpy Larry and Blue Tongue Barry were in the garden list morning. It was a relief seeing Barry, it meant that I hadn’t inflicted any harm by treading on him yesterday.
Jo the Physio set about my left leg with her fingers. She confirmed that the calf muscle was tight, very tight, and that it is going to take a lot of stretching to enable me to run properly again. At least she advised me to drop the stretch with the towel. I hate doing that one as it doesn’t feel as if it’s doing anything. I have another appointment next week
As I was so close to the beach it seemed sensible to have a swim. The water is getting warmer and clearer by small increments. I love swimming on my own. There is no pressure to keep up or to wait for people. I can just swim at whatever pace I choose and to where ever I chose. I thoroughly enjoyed the swim. I thoroughly enjoyed scoffing the packet of jellies afterwards as well.
I played in the garden for the rest of the afternoon, there were things that needed preparing and planting. The preparing is the hard work, the planting is the icing
Loved One and I went for a little stroll this evening as the nights are getting lighter and we could. We met a group of lads who were obviously heading for a night out. One said “hay Bro something fell out of your pocket”. I’ve not fallen for that trick for a long time. They all giggled and scampered away.
I cooked another Thai thing out of a box this evening. It was tasty but not special. I won’t be making that one again.
I was up and about a bit earlier today, so I was out on my massive twelve-minute run before going to work time. I don’t normally see anyone else running when I go out put today I seemed to be surrounded by runners. None of this made my achillies any less painful.
I had to be back at the house before someone came around to measure up the garden for a marquee. I was expecting a man to be at the door but it was a woman. It didn’t change the measuring process.
Not long later I had another wardrobe sales person visit for a third quote. This one was a lot more direct that the other two. It made me feel that he was trying to get in an out as quickly as possible, I wasn’t impressed.
Barry the blue tongue was back in the garden today. I went out to have a cup of tea whilst the floors dried. He was moving round the garden quite quickly. I decided that I needed to finish sorting out the rest of the irrigation system. One or two of the jets were blocked, all it took to clear them was to unscrew the jet and stick a bit of wire through it. I stepped back to admire my work. I didn’t realise that Barry had come up behind me to watch me work. I didn’t mean to step on him. He hissed at me and then walked away in disgust. I hope I haven’t injured him.
I needed to get out of the house, I though a ride to the bridge of doom would clear my head and stop me thinking about stepping on Barry. Half way back, the right-hand pedal felt a bit wobbly. It felt like it was coming lose but it didn’t look lose. I suspected something expensive was going wrong.
I got home and my suspicions were confirmed, the thread had been stripped. It’s going to be expensive.
I made a Ratatouille for dinner tonight. I’ve not made one for a very long time so my skills were a little rusty. It turned out to be very tasty. I served it with penne pasta and there was enough left over for another meal. I’m looking forward to trying the next portion.
I came over tired at about eight thirty, I stayed awake until nine by watching a nature documentary but then threw the towel in and went to bed.