I'm so glad my neighbour set up our little Whasapp group for a few of us to meet up to go walking. I've been out every day this week and am loving it as I love walking in the cold weather. Today we ended up plodding through the woods for around 90 minutes. Don't tell Mr. Macron as it's supposed to be for an hour or less, but as my neighbour couldn't keep up we ended up taking longer than we thought! It's been cold and sunny, if a little foggy early in the day but that soon picks up and it's just perfect to my mind. And would you believe it, on 19th November I actually passed my 1,000 miles in 2020! I'm dead pleased because it hasn't been easy with all the restrictions. Since I knew I'd make it I sent off for my medal and certificate a while ago - and I'm going to hang the darn thing on the wall right next to the cycling proficiency certificate I got when I was seven!
I wore my medal to go out walking with my neighbours today and they cracked up laughing!
It's just a bit of fun really but I'm definitely signing up again next year and maybe aiming for 1,500 miles (2,000 would be wonderful, so who knows)! As I was about to head out I mentioned to André that it's around this period that the firemen stop by to sell their calendars for next year and if they did happen to come by while I was out I always leave cash in a bowl by the front door just in case. It's always one of the local lads that knocks on my door and he's an old friend of my kids. So I told him if "Zoreille" ("Ears") knocks, to take that cash and buy one off him! I think he's kind of hoping Zoreille does stop by because they haven't seen each other for years!
There isn't much on TV that interests me at the moment (or ever really) but last night I was watching Saving Lives at Sea, which features rescues carried out by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Association). They are my favourite UK charity, are self-funding (because they want to organize themselves as they see fit) and manned by volunteers. Well last night they featured an incident where an idiot had gone out surfing during Storm Ciara and got into difficulty. The Hastings' lifeboat was launched and after over an hour searching in horrendous conditions they got word that the surfer had somehow washed ashore some six miles down the coast. All well and good for him, but then the lifeboat had to try to get back ashore during a storm and avoiding an approach to the beach that was known as "the washing machine"! It was stomach churning to watch their attempts to get back to land, and at one point a massive wave knocked the boat onto its side - and all this while the men were wearing bodycams and we could see what they were experiencing! Thankfully the boat righted itself and they ended up making it safely to the lifeboat station in Eastbourne. They made me laugh though because at the end they said the reason they were desperate to get back into Hastings was because they knew they'd have a cup of tea waiting for them!
|The idiot who nearly cost the lifeboat crew their lives!|
I mentioned recently that I've finally signed up to Netflix and have started watching The Crown. In the episode I was watching last night the story developed around the 1952 "pea souper" smog that hung over London for three days killing thousands of people. Using Churchill's inability (or unwillingness) to deal with this crisis (remind you of anyone?) they tried to introduce a vote of no-confidence to oust him. Britain is often foggy (I'd say that's an understatement) but a convergence of unusual weather conditions and the fact that most people heated their homes using coal meant that the acid smog was basically trapped over the city and many thousands of people died. They refer to these fogs as "pea soupers" and at best they are depressing. At worst, as they saw, they can be deadly! Mind you, as André said after having been to Delhi, we in the west have nothing to complain about compared to some parts of the world where you can actually taste the sulphur in the air!
|A "pea souper" in London!|
The 1956 Clean Air Act was passed as a result of this incident, but even so when I was growing up these were pretty normal. I will never
forget one time, though, when I must have been about 13, we had the densest pea souper I had ever experienced and to top it off all the street lights were out. I remember having to walk the couple of miles from the school bus back up to home by feeling
my way along hedges and railings in the dark, dark fog. I knew that route inside out, of course, but it was so
scary nonetheless! Not that you would have guessed it by my mom's reaction, which was more or less "oh there you are, what took you so long?" but then, as Bill Cosby used to say, "our parents walked five miles to school each day, uphill, both ways", but I do remember being so frightened! We were asked to write a story about it in school shortly after that. What I wrote was crap but my friend wrote a beautiful short story which ended with "and a blind man walked me home"! She went on to become a teacher, as you might imagine!
In other news President Macron went on television last night and since the rate of infection is heading in the right direction he will cautiously allow all shops to open as from this Saturday, although attestations will continue to be required and masks, of course, remain mandatory. The big difference as far as I'm concerned is that we can now travel up to 20 km from home to exercise and can take up to three hours to do so. It's pretty selfish that that's what I'm concerned about but .... Then, on 15 December, if things are still going in the right direction, cinemas and so on will be allowed to open up, although gyms, restaurants and bars will remain closed at least until 20 January!!!! I guess it's a start and much as I hate it I do feel he's right to be more cautious this time round, however much the French call him an idiot who doesn't know what he's doing! Frankly would any of you want to be responsible for making that call? I know I wouldn't! He also stated categorically that although the vaccine should be available shortly there will be no mandatory vaccination. Thought as much, although how any (democratic) government could force over 60 million people to be vaccinated is beyond me anyway. Just scaremongering I guess!
Like everyone else's I'll be glad when (if?) we can get back to a more normal life and am really looking forward to next spring. That being said, I took some stuff up the garden to my composter and when I came back to the house I caught sight of myself in the window. Damn! The legs of my sweat pants had ridden up over my socks and I looked a dead ringer for Eminem! Ha, I always thought his name was "M&M" so I did wonder who "Einaman" (as I called him) was that I read so much about in the papers! I put André's baseball cap on sideways and fished out my 1,000 miles medal and André burst out laughing. I think it's time I got out of these four walls before I go completely insane!
Well done Anna, walking is an excellent exercise. I've just started watching the Crown and I've literally just viewed the smog pea-souper episode. I was born in 56 and can recall smog as a child and my mum putting a hankerchief over my mouth like the baddies in a western. I'm enjoying The Crown and will probably binge watch while knitting on gloomy afternoons!ReplyDelete
We must be on the same wavelength I reckon. I was born in 1958 and grew up thinking smog was normal - depressing but normal. I'm glad we don't live that way any more, although I do remember the old coal bunker at the front of the house too. As for the gloomy evenings, maybe I'll drag my sewing machine upstairs in front of the TV - or I could start that jigsaw puzzle - or I could .... There are million things to do and I'm not feeling any of it at the moment!Delete
I know what you mean. It's hard to get motivated sometimes. I'm enjoying knitting at the moment because I can knit and watch tv too. I might even pop out for some new wool tomorrow.Delete
Go get that wool - live dangerously!Delete
Three hours and the ability to go further afield is much better! We still have all our shops open except yoga, exersize groups, groups of any size, eating in a restaurant is only permitted with those who live in your household, finally masks were mandated indoors and I noticed more controlls in place in the hospital yesterday when I went for treatment. I am so hoping Spring is better. We don't expect vaccines in Canada until late 2021 because none get made here so we have prebought but will come secondary to those countries who are manufacturing them. 2021 shall be so much better in so many ways, all fingers and toes crossed. And I shall call you M&M now lolReplyDelete
It's funny how different countries are approaching this virus isn't it - but then I guess we're all at different stages too. I hope your treatment went well yesterday and that you are on the up and up! And I'm REALLY hoping 2021 will be kind to you!Delete
While I have no idea, I'm fairly certain I've not logged anywhere near 1000 miles in 2020, but like you, I love walking in the cool air of the morning. It really jumpstarts the day!ReplyDelete
I bet you have done the 1,000 miles Bob. It isn't that much on a daily basis. Trouble is, you have to do it on a daily basis don't you. And I like the cool air because I get too hot so it ends up being just pleasant!Delete
Perhaps I will keep track of all of my miles for a year to see what I manage. That would be interesting. And GOOD on you for keeping up until you met your goal! Not very many do, you know!ReplyDelete
I am HOPING that when we get our new president he mandates masks inside for everyone. More and more Americans are dying every day and after the holidays I think it's going to be simply horrible. I heard an interview with a funeral home director yesterday and it was chilling. Even he sounded shocked and sad.
Why don't you try logging your miles in 2021. Since my fitbit died I just wear a pedometre round my neck all day and check it at the end of the day. But next year I will try to log the "boots on" miles (deliberate walking), which should be possible just using my phone. We'll see I guess. As for the pandemic, I think you're right. The situation in the US is pretty dire right now and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are not going to improve anything are they, sadly. Have a lovely Thanksgiving tomorrow in your quarantine bubble!Delete
Strangely, I grew up on the top of a hill overlooking the Northern Pennines and we frequently stared down at the smog enveloping communities in the valley. They got the last laugh though because even after coal fires were banned, my childhood home would (and still does) suffer from days of low lying cloud and fog, especially at this time of the year. Still and I agree with Andre, none of it compares to Delhi; 2pm in the afternoon, you can't see the sun for the pollution and your throat feels as if it is on fire whilst your chest crackles with every breath you take. I find India fascinating but, after our last visit, it took my respiratory system so long to recover (goodness knows what Covid would do to me now) that I doubt I shall ever return.ReplyDelete
We were just talking on our walk today that the sun was just so close, trying to break through the cloud, that if we could just drive a short way up the mountain we would be above the cloud and in the sunshine. Geneva sits in a basin and when you're in the mountains you can see the cloud just stuck there. As for the days of coal fires, I don't miss those at all but then we knew no different did we!Delete
Congrats on the 1000! Ain't exercise grand! And it is M & M, his initials Marshall Matters, but he uses the phonetic spelling.ReplyDelete
So I was right, it is "M&M". You've taught me something. God I'm turning into my mother!Delete
Don't you just love The Crown? TheHub will not binge anything so we are having to watch just one episode a night. I would like to watch 2 because I always have things I can do while we watch.ReplyDelete
I'm enjoying it as I'm learning more about the various characters (although I know it's also "made for cinema"). I'm limiting myself to one episode at a time though as I don't start watching until 11 p.m., but yes I'm enjoying it!Delete
That sounds like something I should be trying, logging my exercise so I actually know how far I'm going and how often. It will be a good motivation for me, maybe. I'm turning into a slug.ReplyDelete
I'm lucky to have always lived with fresh air. I live in Alberta which is slightly larger than France, not much though, but our population is 4.4 million and when my family moved her in 1970 the population was only 1.6 million.
You have inspired me to get up off my ass today and take the dogs out. It's supposed to be a nice day, 2C, so no excuses.
Log it - I found it motivated me to get out even when I didn't feel like it and like you say, we're both so lucky to live in such beautiful areas that there's really no excuse. Ok maybe 10 inches of snow would be a good excuse (but then maybe we could go snow-shoeing?) Let's see how you get on at the end of the year!Delete
Well done, you! I love that you wore the medal, as you said, a bit of fun and we all need that. I need a motivation as well. IF there are 365 days or 52 weeks, I wouldn't even need to walk everyday, but average 20 or so to hit that 1,000. I am so bad at tracking and know I would over estimate. No doubt we will have an extension of case rates going up when in 7-14 days rates spike again for our US gatherings.ReplyDelete
I guess we each have to find what motivates us don't we. I've found tracking has pushed me to walk, initially because I wasn't get many miles on the board, then because the totals started to go up. You're looking at 2.7 miles a day or more at the weekend if you can't walk during the week I guess. I found it hard in the snow and then of course lockdown didn't help but if you just keep plugging away at it I'm sure you can do it - especially since you have a puppy to walk anyway!Delete