Tuesday, 2 March 2021

February

 


Well that was quite a varied month! From freezing temperatures and even a bit of snow, to glorious spring-like days of sunshine, thank goodness! The focus for February was on keeping up the strength work and the yoga, as well as lots more walking. I finished my “Walk The Thames” challenge well ahead of the cut-off, and got my nice shiny medal through the post in the middle of the month - and then promptly signed up to another distance challenge in the shape of the RAF Museum Lancaster challenge - which requires me to walk or run 500km between the point ai registered and mid May. 

I finally managed to track down and order some heavier dumbbells - 5kg ones - as well as a proper yoga/exercise mat which has proved to be a bit of a game-changer. Turns out poses like downward dog are a lot easier when your hands and feet aren’t slipping away from you! I managed 11 strength workouts in the month which I was really pleased with, and nearly 11 hours of yoga - finishing the first Adriene 30 day challenge I’d started in January and starting on another. I also managed 179.2 miles of tracked walking - beating last month by just a fraction in spite of it being a short month, averaging 6.4 miles walked each day. 

So - what is in store for March? Well first and foremost I’m desperately keen to be able to get back to running again now. The issue with my left foot is better, but still not better *enough* I don’t think - while I do have days when it gives me no problems at all, there are also still others when it’s really still quite painful.  So - more strength work, still plenty of stretching, but probably slightly less walking overall - I plan to keep my monthly target at 170 miles but not aim to exceed it. I also want to focus on sleep - I’ve been making efforts to get to bed a little earlier and try to get at least 7 hours a night, and it really does make a difference. Listening to my body and what it needs is key here - goi g to bed slightly earlier and dropping off the sleep almost right away is better than going slightly later and then taking a while to settle.  A good bedtime routine helps here - something I’ve been working on. 

I’d like to end the month with:
8 strength workouts minimum
11 hours of yoga
170 miles walked
4 proper rest days - just a short walk plus yoga, at most.
An average of 7hrs 25 minutes sleep per night across the month. 

Bring it on! 

Robyn 




Monday, 1 March 2021

That’s Odd...


 Quite a few years ago we had a brilliant local veg box scheme - a small company run by a nice chap who really cared about the produce he sourced. Sadly his attention to detail and fresh, high quality produce actually made him too successful in some ways - he built up a sizeable customer base at which point he got an offer he couldn’t refuse from another established box scheme company, and sold to them. Rapidly from our perspective prices went up, and quality down, and we stopped ordering boxes soon after.  

We’ve said for a long while that we’re not in the least fussed about our veg being organic - we don’t buy that normally, and so there’s no reason for us to pay for a box of organic veg either, but pretty much all the schemes running currently trade in the basis of being organic. The exception to that is London based Oddbox - and I’ve been keeping a regular eye on them for the last little while in the hope that they would start covering our area, two weeks ago I popped our postcode into the box on the website and voila! “We delivery to your area on a Saturday” - hurrah! 



Oddbox work on the premise of “rescuing” fruit and veg which would otherwise go to landfill - items that don’t look right for the mainstream stores - or are the wrong size, or are just surplus to requirements. They buy it up, then sell it on to people like us who don’t care that the peppers have a few blemishes, or that I’m getting potatoes because there were more of them than the supermarkets wanted this week. 


You get your box of veg - ours was the medium Veg only box - they also do a fruit and veg combined and a fruit only box. It comes with a leaflet with some recipe ideas for some of the items in the box, and a list (above) confirming why all the items you’ve been sent are there. From my perspective the delivery time (Oddbox deliver overnight to save on emissions) plus the fact that you can see what is expected to be in your box ahead of time means that I can always be sure of fresh veg for Sunday lunch. Just getting the box means we’ll increase the amount of veg in our diet - and we were no slouches on that front in the first place.  Although this week’s offerings were fairly “usual” for us, I’m also hoping that we get some different stuff here and there to shake our meals up a bit. As for this week, there will be a stew,  a stir fry, and some salad with an omelette, as well as some spinach thrown into tonight’s risotto, and I’m looking forward to planning to use up every last scrap! 


Robyn 

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Throwback Thursday...


 

One of the things I’ve been dipping into doing over the past 11 months is going over old albums of photos from the backup drives and checking for any new stuff to process from them. There can be all sorts of reasons why I find previously unprocessed stuff - sometimes in the busiest patch of the airshow season all I get time to do is download the shots, and pick out a handful of particular favourites to process. Sometimes I only get to the shots that I know someone is particularly waiting for or will be interested in. And sometimes it is as simple as, for whatever reason the show didn’t altogether grab me as much as it might - perhaps because the sky wasn’t great. 

That last is the only reason I can think of for the album I got to today having been neglected as the first thing ai discovered was a whole load more photos of the Shuttleworth and Aircraft Restoration Company Westland Lysanders flying together - for me without question one of the aviation highlights of 2019. The Lysander is a favourite aircraft of mine anyway - I do always like the underdog, and this aircraft is without doubt one of the most under-acknowledged heroes of WW2. Used among other things for the dropping off and collection of SOE agents in occupied France, an incredibly dangerous task, and one that many Lysanders were lost carrying out, it’s very possible that the war could have turned out rather differently without their input. 

I’ll be posting some more of the “new” photos on my Instagram over the next little while, and ai’m rather interested to see what else I might find in that album now, too! 

Robyn 

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

More walking...


The spring-like weather has continued through the first part of the week - my walks yesterday and today have been in glorious sunshine and within just a couple of miles done each day I’ve been too warm in my coat. 

I love this point in the year when you first get that optimistic feeling that the seasons are changing - it also tends to mean the most wonderful clouds too - the shots above and below were taken yesterday, I just kept finding myself stopping to stare at the sky - amazing! 



I’m doing nicely with my February walking mileage target - with just under 17 miles to go to hit 170 miles tracked walking this month. That’s the highest target I’ve set myself - although I have hit slightly higher totals without a target set in the past. A reasonable distance walked this week will also mean a good start to my latest challenge - the RAF Museum Lancaster Challenge. This one launched in early January, and runs through to Mid May - but typically of me I have wasted best part of six weeks not getting around to registering.  It comes with three distance options - the longest of which is 500km - so naturally that’s where I’ve committed... I’ll be walking this one, although it would be nice to think I could incorporate some running in there too as and when the injury allows, and I have also opted to seek sponsorship his time too - the first time I’ve done one of these challenges with fundraising. If anyone reading should want to sponsor me then there is a JuatGiving page you can go to - https://justgiving.com/fundraising/robyn-pf - and it goes without saying that I will be extremely grateful for anything you could pledge! 


Robyn

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Signs of spring...

 


After several weeks of freezing temperatures, icy pavements in the mornings, and even a little bit of snow, it’s finally warming up. Today was a balmy 13°C and with the sun out at times it felt absolutely glorious after what has felt at times like a really long winter! 


Outside this morning we noticed that some of the crocuses we planted years ago were showing their faces - a beautiful flash of colour in the grass. Then on our walk this afternoon we saw the first Blackthorn blossom of the year, and also Celandines - traditionally one of the first wildflowers that appear each year - absolutely everywhere! 


We’re also seeing - and hearing - masses more birds. Our local Blue Tits have clearly paired off - and my suspicion is that the two Robins we see regularly on the feeders - nicknamed White-flash for the white wing feather, and Flappy Robin (struggles to balance in the feeder without using one wing for balance!) are a pair too, and are nesting in the bushes just across from us. We’re also seeing a pair of Red Kites around a lot which is fantastic - we have seen an occasional one around for a few years now but it looks like these two have settled in. I managed to get some photos of them flying a few days ago so I’ll do another post with some of those at some stage. 



Today’s walk was a favourite route of ours - along the river. The light was wonderful and the reflection of the trees in the water really rather beautiful.  Also rather beautiful is the way the days are lengthening now - we got back from our walk today in broad daylight at 5pm, and there is still an appreciable amount of daylight in the sky an hour later than that, too. I always forget, from year to year, how special that first proper glimpse of Spring on the way feels! 

Robyn


Sunday, 7 February 2021

This week...

 

First snowdrops of the year!

The second week of my jury service, and due to a lack of trials I was released on Tuesday. Happy to have been selected at all, but also happy in the circumstances not to have been required to actually sit on a jury. 

A reasonable amount more walking this week - another 36.5 miles in fact which added to my January total takes me over the amount needed for my virtual Thames Path challenge. Evidence is now submitted for that one and it’s time to think about the next thing...! I also completed 3 strength workouts through the week, and lots more yoga - to which I may even be completely converted! They say it takes 28 days to make a habit, and perhaps coincidentally, or perhaps not, it was when doing day 28 of my yoga challenge this evening that I suddenly found myself getting into a pose which a month ago I could not even have got close to - that felt like a real breakthrough! I have 2 more days of the current challenge to do, and then I’ll be looking for more options to move on to. 

It feels like we are also making solid progress on our path through the freezers now too, and this weeks meals will make more impact there as well, although some of the r rains of today’s roast chicken will also probably be making their way in there before being used over the next few weeks. On a freezing cold day with snow drifting down outside though as it was today that full roast dinner really ticked all the boxes! 

Possibly the biggest things this week was that we decided to take a leap of faith and book a week away for a little later in the year. There IS a risk that we still won’t be able to travel by that stage, but we’re hoping that it will be far enough into the spring that things will have begun to be relaxed enough to allow it. MrEH has a lot of holiday time to use this year, and I will have some spare on normal as well due to the cancellation of the Great British Beer Festival for the second year on the trot - so we decided that something to look forward to was definitely the order of the day. 

Aims for the coming week - more walking of course, plus strength work and of course yoga/stretching! I’m tempted to try another dance type workout too as those can be fun - and surprisingly hard work! I also want to continue rehabbing my foot - I’ve had several days in the last week completely pain-free when walking, and I’m hopeful that another week might see my able to start back running again - fingers crossed! I also want to get out with the camera at least once - it’s a shame to see it just sitting in the bag so much at the moment, and there seems little prospect of being able to use it for aviation photos any time soon. The other main thing is to get back to regular survey work again - I’m keen to see how much I can make to supplement the regular payments to my 0% interest credit card, but motivation has been lacking more than it should, of late. 

Plenty to be going on with, anyway! 

Robyn

Friday, 5 February 2021

Willing to be wrong...

 


Sometimes, on all sorts of things, as you gain more knowledge and experience, you come to realise that some of your earlier preconceptions were vast oversimplifications, or in some cases just plain wrong. I’ve had recent experience of this with - of all things - yoga! As I mentioned before, I decided that being unable to run for the last few weeks gave me the perfect opportunity to focus on strength work and stretching/flexibility, and one facet of this was to embark on a 30 day yoga challenge. 

I’ve seen people doing these Yoga With Adriene challenges before, and have even had a go at some of her practises myself, but just couldn’t get to grips with it. I found myself constantly unable to follow her cues, not knowing what any of the poses were, I spent half the workout twisting round trying to see the screen I had the workout on, and it just didn’t feel like something that was for me at all. I’d go as far as to say I ended the experience feeling more stressed than I started - not really the desired outcome for yoga! 

This time round things have been a bit different. Whether the challenge is more specifically aimed at those who may be quite new to practising yoga, whether I have enough additional knowledge now to make the cues easier to follow, or what, I have no idea, but after a slightly sceptical first few days I was surprised to REALLY take to it! I found quite early on that I was finding it far easier to get into some poses that I had previously struggled with, and certainly as the days have ticked by this has become even more true. I’m still struggling with some of the “sit still and do nothing” bits - but even that is getting easier over time. How easy it will be to keep up regular yoga practise time without a challenge of his sort to act as incentive, I don’t yet know, but I believe there are other challenges online that I can do first to help with building it as more of a habit. 

Hands up, right here - yoga IS for me, after all! 

Robyn