I have now finally left the #walk1000miles Facebook group for reasons of mental wellbeing. We all get a little overwhelmed by needy people, well that group was kind of like their ‘hang out place’!
Here are some examples of typical questions:
“How far should I walk?”
“Where should I go?”
“How do I know when I’ve walked too far?”
“Do only ‘boots on’ walks count?”
“What does ‘boots on’ mean?”
“Can I include running?”
You get the point, God they piss me right off, so needy and in desperate need of confirmation and validation for every single last thought they have! It’s all about sharing, sharing every single last bastard brain fart they experience!
We finally moved house. And that was fun! If I can offer one bit of advice to anyone, if you can, try and avoid completing and exchanging on two houses in one day, a bag of laughs it is not, especially when your deposit for your new house magically disappears for a couple of hours before reaching your purchasing solicitor, damn that was fun. All the same we did do the sensible thing of booking a night in the Premier Inn, a little bit indulgent but way better than trying to build the bed whilst the removal company were y’know, moving us in!
There will be lots more articles / posts featuring the moving in process and how our lives are changing (for the better) to the new home.
Sadly, we’ve both lost our dads this year. Richard, Christine’s dad, died in September and the day before his funeral, my died finally joined mum in the next world. I’m saddened, I think I’ve succeeded this time in not squashing my feelings into a repressed ball of degenerative anger (like I did with mum). Obviously, I’m going to miss the pair of them for the rest of my time here, but these things are part of life and to deny them…it’s just not healthy.
On a physical level, my body has been an absolute git this year! First there was the iliotibial band syndrome, affecting my right knee, which royally screwed up my walking. Now this has been either replaced or joined by Palmoplantar Psoriasis…which makes your feet look awful and hurts to even stay still. At least the treatment for the foot thing is an actual cream smeared all over my feet twice a day. The treatment for the knee thing involved exercises that I could just never do as this started whilst I was still living in a box-filled flat with no room to swing a cat, not that either of us is strong enough to swing ‘Pepper’ anywhere! On Thursday I (embarrassingly) fell downstairs and whilst this burned my right elbow, bruised my left forearm and gave me a bruise I cannot even see on my left buttock…it seems to have done something magical to my right knee! The evidence of this is that I went for a six-miles walk yesterday morning and although my feet were overheating to the max by the end of the walk, my knee was great, no pain at all.
Okay, so that was an extremely condensed version of my last three or four months. I do plan on keeping a bit more up to date as I can see myself getting more accustomed to our home office where I have a linux PC setup – with two monitors, just for net stuff !
This post contains frank and robust language, if you are easily offended (you big snowflake) then you’d be best flouncing off now!
I’m fairly sure that I’ve pinched that header from Stephen King’s epic pandemic-themed “The Stand”, kind of poignant given the state of things.
So, what’s been going on?
The world turned to shit – sorry, did you miss that bit?
2. The flat sale fell through, either as a direct result of point “1”, or because one of the below was a complete incompetent:
a. The potential buyer, who was a bit soft in the head and for a thirty-something year-old really should learn to speak up for himself.
b. Our Solicitors’ “Conveyancer & Team Leader” was at best, a dick!
The buyer’s solicitor got fired…or at least that’s what we were told. Personally I think the buyer’s control- freak of a father put that one out there as a delaying tactic to try and get the price down! Never admit you’ve got a purchase lined up folks – some twats will use the possibility of you losing your purchase as a bargaining tool!
3. Both Chris and I have been working from home…and enjoying it, well it’s hard to feel bad about a three-second commute!
There’s no two ways about it, working at / from home is a completely different experience, you get to have the TV or radio on – we’ve chosen to alternate as too much TV can be really quite boring and each mainstream internet radio station has a playlist of about thirty songs, and there’s just only so much Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa to which you can be subjected!
Now, it’s hard to deny that we are right on the border of comfortable working, the flat is too small for two people to live let alone set up an Argos table and two chairs and two monitors and two laptops every day…but we manage. And I drink a lot of coffee!
Of course I’ve still had to get out and about, whereas some people took every instruction and guideline from our wonky government as gospel…no matter how much we tried to get it mixed up, they said we could do an hour’s exercise, then someone who sounded like they knew what they were talking about said – there was no time limit…I was never going to stick to any time limit anyway and on V.E. Day (to which I still strongly object) I walked close to twelve miles…not in an hour!
I am lucky to live near “The Moss”, a large tract of agricultural land punctuated by the odd road, which only Southport cyclists seem to find worth venturing upon! Thus this leaves most of the area free for me to walk with limited fear of catching Covid 19 off someone hyperventilating, even I have to agree that I couldn’t say the same about a potential walk to either of my two local haunts, the West Pennines and Pendle. In essence, this is a compromise, however, it doesn’t feel one when you’re pounding the pavement on route to Longmeaneygate – yes, that’s really the name of a street, admiring the Cow Parsley and Ragwort, and by God has there been a lot of those aforementioned flowering weeds in bloom this year! In addition I’ve started to ‘Covert! – ‘oh really?’ I hear you wonder, no, nothing sinister, I plucked up the courage to walk through a small wooded area, purely out of curiosity really and its name is Pitts House Covert…I found this vaguely amusing. This little micro-forest has quickly become a favourite and when Chris joins me, even she likes it there, the Photo’s to follow.
So although I’ve not exactly being stomping all over the county (country?) I have been getting in the odd mindful walk to counteract the effects of otherwise being stuck in the flat for almost 24 hours per day, some days.
On a related note, hasn’t it been sodding hot this spring / summer. I’m not against that, but as we live in a first floor flat, lugging 15 litres of water down to hydrate the flowers etc does get to be something of a chore which is why I’ve practically basked in the odd fleeting shower – again photos to come, of the flowers – not me basking!
The lockdown in itself has been good for me. There, I’ve said it. There was no denying that January’s and February’s (God I fucking hate this laptop’s tiny keyboard!) stress over the flat sale and subsequent fail took its toll on me in terms of stress, the lockdown purely and simply took that away. No, I would not have wanted tens of thousands of my fellow countrymen and millions of people across the world to die just so I could destress, that would be ridiculous and inhumane. I’m just saying that for me, it’s worked out, by and large, to be quite therapeutic. I’ve even enjoyed shopping, albeit at the height of the “key workers are angels” phase it was obnoxious being treated as fodder by store workers – hey treat me as you would want me to treat you is all that I would want.
We’ve put the flat back on the market, and up to now: 16/6/2020 we have had three viewers. I was suckered in by the first one who was oh so positive about the place that I thought he was going to put in a bid there are then – I’ve learned, this means ‘I’m too embarrassed to tell you how much I don’t want this place!’ I don’t expect we’ll get any real interest until lockdown is well and truly over and even then it might not be until after Christmas, so we’ll just have to deal with living life as it is and not get stressed. I don’t like stress – it smells metallic, yes it does!
Ultimately with regards to the year thus far, I do find myself harking back to the Amble in February walking along Catherine Edge with the brilliant “Everything I wanted” by Billie Eilish going through my head and just contrasting how different everything was then compared to now.
And as I am ready to click publish, we have just accepted an offer on the Flat – one circle closes…
I had an entire section on here entitled “The Move”. This was a names-amended narrative on our house-move, with a bit of humour thrown in. I’ve taken this down, I might think I’m funny, others may just be a tad offended, and yet others have access to lawyers at discount prices…
So, I have to concentrate on what I can alter / amend / create in my life. That’s this blog folks…and its sister. You didn’t know it had a sister? Well, I guess I can keep secrets after all. (Or not!)
It isn’t ready yet so I’ll save you a wasted journey.
Wow you’re very direct today! Okay so this is an itch which got scratched, then started to bleed, then morphed into another itch, which (at the moment) looks very much like the previous itch. So now you’re sat at your desk, or on the bus, (if you’re driving then put the damn phone down, pillock!) scratching away at the itch I’ve just NLP’d onto you and at the same time wondering just wtf this guy is banging on about! Linked-in, to be honest I still perceive it as another arrow in the stalker’s quiver!
On LI you can, if you so desire, endorse people. That’s kinda nice isn’t it? You can say that you went to uni with this person who was such a hard worker and was meticulous and so on…Or you can say that when Sandra Smith worked at your company customer service was at an all-time high and you rue the day you let her get away for a meagre 10% pay rise. Like I say, that’s nice.
However, not quite so nice is meeting people at a sales event or conference, harvesting their name and email address and then tracking them down on LI purely for the sake of asking them to endorse you…or just as bad, promising you that they’ll endorse you if you do the same back. That’s kinda manipulative, and that’s coming from someone who can push the envelope on the Machiavellianism scale!
“So this is my tape I’m sending you…” sorry, got all Eminem then! So, this is my response (actually this is referrenced on my LI profile), essentially a website (WordPress-based) which will be geared towards you being you, not being driven by what others will think or say about you, or promise to say about you. Of course you have to take the orientation of the author into account, (I mean walking,not some kind of Shetland Ponies in high-heels obsession). I’m aiming to make this into a challenge-walk, sign-up portal, with actual information about what I’m attempting to organise and why. Examples are: Gathering a bunch of people together in order to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks – for charity, or doing the Anglezarke Amble (the big route) and further afield, walks like the Helm Wind walk or even the Lake District 10 which I imagine is going to be incredibly hard!
In other news. I really should start to get into a more healthy shape. As such I am going carb-min and cutting out a large chunk of the simple carbs that I would normally cram-in from pies and take-a-ways and even the odd (daily) muffin, I may still have one of those per week – surely that won’t kill me? The stress over the flat sale might not necessarily have turned me into an alcoholic…but I think they’d let me into their parties! Crikey what fun parties they’d be! But it’s fair to say that I have knocked back a fiar bit of booze this year and it’s only…Marchuary (hic). I am aiming to just have one bottle of wine per weekend. History has highlighted to me that I don’t sleep well on Sunday nights, throw wine into the mix and that sleep is an idea, a great but distant dream, spot the ironic twist there! Obviously then the wiser path would be to open a bottle on Friday night- ‘cos y’know watching Gogglebox completely sober is just pointless, then save the other half a bottle until Saturday evening, when let’s be honest you need some help to get through the dreadful t.v. schedule!
Already this year I’ve been to the gym five times, I even went knowing that it would be open! I do need to work much harder on turning that number into those numbers but now is not the time to be beating myself up about that! We’ll see how that pans out but I would be very happy to make three visits per week the norm.
I’ve decided to pick-up where I left off with Duolingo. It had me down as being fluent in both Spanish and Italian at one time, now for some reason I’m just an intermediate in Spanish, ¿Por que? ¡Lo siento, pero no se! It’s not widely known on the web, ‘cos I’m British and traditionally we don’t excel at learning new languages, that I am something of a polyglot . I’m one of those people who can hear languages and start to pick them up. It’s not a very rare thing, my brother-in-law has the same thing. I’d like to be able to hold an in-depth conversation with a Spanish or Italian (or Romanian) and discuss more than the weather, so I’ll be spending some quality time with the earphones on then immersing myself in either Spanish, Italian and the odd bout of Polish – just because!
Whilst I’m not trying to make this post sound like ‘see what I can do’ bragging blog – that does sound kinda catchy, dunnit, I have always harboured a desire to write a book …or five! the first one that I ever started, had a good theme but I kind of wandered so far away from the original idea that I just burried in until later…and took the title “Something Inside” with me. It was the next one “The Calling” which, after close to thirty years, has been the one to which I always return, I think I’ve added-to and edited-from this enough times to have rewritten the thing from start to finish at least twice. However, I do plan on giving this a final push towards publishing at some point in the next 12-months! My good friend Becky has already read this (cos y’know you ask someone to read it and they just don’t ahem Cerys, ahem Joanna, ahem Hannah!) and didn’t come in to work pointing a finger at me and suggesting I try another medium (say for example, interpretive dance) so maybe…But, a recent encounter (or two) with a certain feisty person has left in me the desire to rewrite another one from the past: The Dark Places (working title, cos y’know, it’s pants!). And no, I am not going to do anything nasty to name withheld…well apart from make her one of two adopted twins who starts to have gory visions of a crazed serial killer…I’ve said too much!
So, a little bit to be getting on with then…ciao, adios, noroc, por ahora!
Well I’ve not been gone that long, some might say that only I missed my presence in the blogsphere (is that even a word?), but I’ve now got a brand new Instagram account, I may add a Facebook page and a twitter account…do I really need to do all that?
Hmm, the best part of blogging should be building up the content by experience – yeah you should be able to deduce I’ve been watching “Where’s Mollie’s Global Travellers” on YouTube. I think she’s right though: we can sell our souls to the social network gods for coverage, to be linked-in (lol), followed on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest (is that still going?), Instagram…there are just so many carrots to chase that we lose sight of what we are doing – blogging. For the record, the delightful Mollie’s principal concern is that we spend so much time trying to tell people what we are doing, worrying about wifi strength etc instead of simply doing it and enjoying it.
With that in mind, I haven’t really participated in two of my favourite things to do. I’m talking about gardening – well I have projects in the pipeline but the weather’s been kind of crappy; and walking…which has been largely affected by laziness on my side! That’s got to change!
Those of you whom have followed me from my previous site(s): fatgoatwalks.co.uk will be aware of my love of doing one particular full-day, long(ish) distant walk: the Anglezarke Amble. But for you newbies to my world; essentially this is a challenging slog organised by the West Lancashire branch of the Long Distance Walkers Association. It’s route takes in twenty four and a half miles and some of the West Pennines most adhesive mud, oh and the mighty summits of Rivington Pike, Winter Hill, Darwen Hill and Great Hill. Hey it’s harder than I make it sound! Oddly enough, it’s held in East Lancashire which only matters to people ‘a bit on the scale’ – such as me! I tried this again this year and packed it in after less than a mile owing to a lack of fitness, the rain was relentless and my waterproof over-trousers kept falling down, which was kind of irksome!
As with the ‘Amble’, I’ve gone off track! I want to do this again next year, on the 9th of February (I forgot to mention it’s done in Winter!) but the one thing that really puts me off is the time issue. Not only does each registrant have to complete the marathon walk in under ten hours, they have to be at the infamous ‘Paddy’s Pole’ a marker some six miles into the route, in two and a half hours or else they are transered to the shorter (16 miles) walk…which after the section leading up to Paddy’s Pole might not necessarily be a bad thing as it gets kind of soaking! But that’s not the point, I am a serial worrier and I stress about whether I’m going to reach the pole before 10:30…because I’d rather do the long walk. So, next year I am going to go about this the sensible way…
I’m not paying the admission fee, not registering for the walk, and as such I’m just going for a walk on the same day in the same location as a couple of hundred others. Granted, I’ll lose the right to the refreshment checkpoints – oh well I’ll just take a flask and something to eat. This will give me peace of mind, and hopefully I won’t get lost and need the LDWA to call mountain rescue for me if I haven’t made it back by 18:00. Sorted.