Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Hot and bothered

Hi Friends. This last week has presented a number of challenges - and I'm happy to say that I've come out fighting! Fighting against the hell of the heat that is. I know many of you won't even think that mid 20s/70s C/F is any sort of heat to get hot and bothered about. But to me, having grown up in the north where summer was 2 months you mainly pretended were warm enough to wear summer clothes, this is just really uncomfortable.

Part of the reason is living in an uninsulated attic flat. The slate absorbs the heat of the sun and the air trapped between that and the plaster board heats up and can't escape. The walls feel hot and it takes many hours to cool down again. It is hell on earth. Getting through that is a real psychological strain.

Another difficulty is my lack of clothing. And not being able to wear my coat when I go out. It's sort of like a protection to me - and kids me into thinking I'm hiding the fat under it - which I am to a small extent.

I didn't go out Thursday as I was too done in after 4 days out in a row. So Friday was the day I had to confront the world sans coat. I'm so glad I bought those cropped trousers! I put a pair of those on and a long t-shirt and silk overshirt.

I searched for my sandals - which I put away in boxes at the end of every summer - and FINALLY found the pair I was looking for only to be presented with the shock of not being able to get my feet into them. I have worn them the last 3 summers - yet now I could no way squeeze my feet into them.

PANIC! No footwear!

I had to walk into town with my grubby flip flops on - the ones I only ever wear indoors. I must have put on quite a bit of weight even on my feet. Add to that water retention due to the heat ...

I bought the first pair of sandals I tried on in Evans - a triple E fitting - which is the widest you can get on the high street. They're gladiator style and I love them and think they look great - the multiple straps really disguise the puffiness. I've been out walking in them and on my feet for three hours at a time and they're perfect.

I've been out every day since. Saturday: took another bag of books to the charity chop and went clothes shopping. I found a pair of cargo pants in a charity shop which *just about* fit. I didn't try them on because it was too hot. Sunday: a walk in the evening taking photos - I was out for 3 hours but with a lot of stopping to take pictures. Monday: continuous walking in the evening lasting 1 hour 50 mins. When I'm in condition - and carrying less weight - I can do that walk in 1 hr 30 mins, so I have plenty of improvement to make.

The positive thing about the heat - I have no desire to eat chocolate! I have eaten NOTHING with added sugar in the last week. Lucky I'm not into ice-cream :)

I have been determined to confront the heat, and to confront my fear of going out. It took me 4 hours on Sunday to work up the courage to get out, but I did it.

Continuing my walk.
On the other side of the road are a few backs of Victorian terraces and some student halls of residence. All the time you get glimpses of the hills that surround the city - as here between the garage and some workshops.
At this point the path is waaaay above the road as you can see from the traffic sign (green oblong, middle right)
When that path comes back down to earth again ... thought I'd photo this for you as red cast iron always *does it* for me. GR means "George Regina" - all post boxes have the cipher of the monarch on them - so this one dates between 1910 and 1936 (yes I did bleeping well look those dates up!)
On the main road

The junction with the road which leads to the main campus
Looking up the road to Uni
Continuing on main road, on one side is this
And on the other side
And just so you don't start to think I live in Dingley Dell, here are some houses. Almshouses - built for the poor in Victorian times. They knew how to build chimneys in those days! They are flats for elderly people now. The modern building peeping behind is the college.

A little further on the same side
Other side of the road
And just over wall is the park where we went with the Bear's chips. I'll go back some other time to photo the fish and chip shop!
Just as a change from GREEN here's a sneak preview of my next lot of photos from a walk with the Bear. Some wisteria - which smelt fabulous!
Blimey. I've received FOUR awards in the last couple of weeks! I'll post details of all of those - plus all conditions next time - and think of some people to pass them onto.

Bearfriend xx

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Edge of the city walk ... and a few chips :(

Hi Friends. I've got out every day so far this week! On Monday I got a couple of jobs done in town, then I met up with the Bear. He was straight to the fish and chip shop of course. He got large chips and battered sausage and we each got a tea and went to sit in a park. "Eat the rest of these chips before they go cold" he said and I did, damn it :(

We went on a bit of a walk after that - along the path I showed you in the last post and through the uni grounds.

On Tue I did my laundry and hoovering and then went into town for another errand. I met the Bear again and we went to the pub (the converted chapel) and had tea. Luckily (!) he was in too bad a mood to eat anything so I escaped the dreaded chip shop.

That's the thing - I'd never go into a chip shop on my own. I would never buy myself fish and chips. It's only when I'm with the Bear and have to watch him eating it, that chips start moving in my direction (ok ok I'm not claiming involuntary movement here. Well maybe.)

Today I accompanied Mrs Bear to the dentist - only the seventh (or is it eighth? but whose counting) visit in the last 3 months. She is done now, we hope. Then I did another errand in town and got to pottery for about 3pm. I did 2 hours there - finishing a vase, glazing my candle holder and working on the pinch pot for my healer. Then I went to a cafe. I used to love going to cafes on my own and just watching people go by and reading a book or the newspaper. But these days I feel quite stressed in there and don't enjoy it.

I want to enjoy it again.

I don't feel stressed in a cafe with the Bear of course. I can go anywhere with him. I have some sort of special protection when he's there. It's called Love - my love for him. It's strange that this one way love makes me feel so safe - you'd think I'd need some reciprocation.

Continuing my walk (and just let me know when you've seen enough trees) ....

Just behind me was this and an opening onto a path
Then a track

Then out onto this field
Which has views to Dartmoor in the distance
Someone was having a bonfire in the valley
Walking along to the top of the field (and a sudden shot of sunshine)
These houses have amazing views
I walked next down the road on which those houses are on - but didn't feel comfortable taking photos of private houses. I took the one below of someone's hedge - beautiful combination of blossom and berries - and I felt guilty even doing that!
The end of that road peters out into a farmer's track
A border from someone's garden that spills onto the track

Looking up the track from this point
Continuing down in evening sunshine

A curious tree!

The track comes out onto one of the main roads into town 
To be continued next time (if you can bear anymore).

Hope your week is going well so far.

Bearfriend xx 

Monday, 17 May 2010

Wot no Bear?

Hello friends. I've had a few days when I've unusually had quite a bit of energy. On Friday I was able to do some decluttering and threw out 3 bags of recycling, took 1 bag to the bottle bank (mainly jars!), and had four bags of books and a bag of old sindy stuff to go to the charity shop. The sindy stuff was given to me by the Bear as someone was throwing it in the bin, but it was mostly TLC and from the 1960s and I collect only late 1970s up to mid 80s. There were also a number of Pippa dolls, clothes and shoes in there. All could have been sold on Ebay - but I decided a whole year ago I would sell it and still hadn't done it. I've never sold anything on Ebay (though bought plenty of stuff!) and it just seemed like too much stress for very little money given that the doll stuff was in poor condition and I find parcelling things up takes hours. Then there is the stress of having to go into town to the post office. And the worry about the buyer being unhappy with what they've bought. So I decided to just give it away to be rid of it.
In my decluttering I sorted through a MOUNTAIN of mail which was mostly junk, so I'm totally caught up on that. I also cleared the kitchen table - I can now see my kitchen table!

On Saturday I wanted to get to the bank, but spent so long sorting papers - and the inevitable fear of leaving the house - that I was too late. So I took as many bags as I could carry to a charity shop. While I was there I spotted a butterfly stamp - just the very thing I wanted - to make a bowl in my pottery class with impressed butterflies on it for my healer's birthday present. I can't remember when exactly her birthday is but she's cancer so not too far in the future. Sadly I have only seen her once in the last 4 or 5 months due to various problems her end.

Anyway, while in the shop I FORCED myself to have a look through the clothes, but there was nothing I was interested in. I must have been fired up a bit because next I went into BHS determined to get something so I wouldn't have to wear my thick jersey trousers all summer.

A depressing experience! But that is why I have very few clothes. I made myself act AS IF I was one of those people on a "How to dress yourself" show. You know, if you're big get something that's fitted, shows off your curves etc etc etc. Well all the tops seemed to be fitted so I selected a few and tried them on. Not a success! They made my bust look ginormous and I looked as though I was about to topple forward at any moment. One top, that gathered in under the bust, made me look heavily pregnant.

I decided my straight down t-shirts are the best option as long as they skim and don't cling to the fat. They make me look less like a giant blob on legs than the fitted tops.

I couldn't get any proper trousers as I need a short fitting and I couldn't find a large enough size in the short range. I did manage to get a couple of pairs of cropped trousers. After trying on about 10 pairs.

All in all a sobering experience. But it might just give me the kick up the a*se I need to reduce my eating.

Yesterday I was supposed to be meeting the Bear. I rang him about 6 times with no answer and at 4pm gave up. I have been out very little in the last couple of weeks as he hasn't been out much. I realised I'd become reliant on him to be able to get out. And getting zero exercise for two weeks actually made me feel ill. I decided I had to get out on my own and have a walk. So I did.

And 100 yards from my front door I was caught in several minutes of VERY heavy rain - with even a few hail stones thrown in. I stood under a tree and my umbrella. But by the time it abated I was soaked up to the knees because the rain was bouncing off the pavement so much!

I was cursing and thinking things were against me as the one time I head out for a walk it's the heaviest rain ever.... But I carried on. The weather was very temperamental that day. There were showers but also periods of intense heat and sunshine.

To give myself some purpose in being out I took a load of photos for your enjoyment. I ended up wandering around for 3 hours. I felt good at the end of yesterday.

This path is a few minutes walk from the high street (split into cycle and walking)

View looking from path over to the University
Then I walked through the University grounds

The beauty of weeds!
View from a field behind the University. Between the University and the far hills lies the town.
Next time I'll continue the pictures of my walk from this point. 
I was given this lovely award by Rainbow Dreaming. Thanks L! And an appropriate ending to a happy post!
Hope you've all had a good start to the week!

Bearfriend xx