Category Archives: walking

Am I an addict

“An intelligent person can rationalise anything; a wise person doesn’t try.”
― Jen Knox, After the Gazebo

On no.  Don’t worry.  I haven’t taken to drugs or booze, just a television series.

sherlock

Note – I hope I’m not impinging on anyone’s copyright.
I found this on Google images.

I  watch very little televIision and even when I do it is of the programmes I have recorded.  I prefer to choose what I watch and when I watch.

We have a TV channel here that shows only British programmes and this is what I mostly record and watch.  Some are reruns of old series but there are some good new drama series as well.

Friends and some family members,  and yes some of my blogging friends, have been talking about Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes.  I had no desire to watch this programme and therefore didn’t.  But a few weeks ago I turned on the TV and Sherlock was playing.  I watched and over the past couple of weeks I have been recording the programme and on these wet windy afternoons, have watched several.

Now I can’t say that I am one of those who must watch each week, but I find myself doing so.  And what is the attraction of this programme over so many others?

Well, for a start, there are no swear words bandied about by and to all and sundry. This is rare in today’s television series.  There are no gratuitous sexual scenes and while there is some violence it all seems to have already happened before Sherlock and Watson come on the scene.

So this programme suits an elderly widow woman sitting watching TV alone.  Oh yes, you can feel sorry for me.

What else to write about on this ghastly (supposedly) summer day?

I went for a walk to the village today.  While it was not raining it was quite windy.  And as I haven’t walked for several weeks, with so many excuses and no real reasons to put forward, the walk was more difficult for me than it had been when I was walking regularly.  So even though I shall be able to drive again next week, I shall continue walking to get back to where I was.

And yes, those steps were so much more difficult today; fighting the wind and climbing 134 stairs is not funny.  I was very pleased to arrive home and sit with my feet up and with a cup of tea.  Note – I did have a coffee break in the village but….

So now, having written this crazy post, I’m going to watch the latest edition of the programme.  I don’t know how far behind we are to the rest of the world, but does it matter?

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver

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More Walking

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, 
“and what is inside them,
for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra Clare, American author of young adult fiction,
1973 –

Many years ago I discovered Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way.  Through this book, her suggestions and in particular, her Morning Pages, I found that what I really wanted was be a life coach.  I then discovered a special Life Coach, Cary Volmer in Minnesota, and found out first hand what a life coach does.  She encouraged me and subsequently I took a Life Coach course in Australia  and became certified.

So why am I telling you this today, many years after the event?  Well, today I purchased Julia’s next book – The Artist’s Way for Retirement.

As usual, I’m spending the weekend with my son and his family.  Today my son was asleep as he works as Night Manager at a Wellington Hotel, my grandsons and their mother were all working and so I took myself off for my walk and ended up in the local mall.  The bookshop, as always, drew me to it and I saw this book.  I picked it up just to look at it, you understand.  The book fell open and the first thing that jumped out at me was the paragraph that included:

Walking makes” a quilt out of the silken patches of our experience.
So yes, it’s important that we walk.”

For me, walking has broadened my life, making me more independent than I have been for several months -4 or 5 kms a day makes all the difference to my life.  So of course, I had to buy the book.

As I’m almost completely recovered I now have to decide what to do with this life of mine and so I’m starting the 12-week course covered in this book to find out where I’m going next and what I am going to do.  So as we say,and if you’re interested, watch this space.

Butterflies

Still Hiking Into My Old Age

I dream of hiking into my old age.
I want to be able even then
to pack my load and take off slowly
but steadily along the trail.
~ Marlyn Doan

I used this quote as the title to my post way back in June 2011 when I was  a very new blogger. I loved the quote but at the time I knew little of Marlyn Doan and have found very little about her since.  However, I found that she was the author of 3 books and was a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association up until the time of her death.  In recognition of her work HECA founded a scholarship in her name.

I’m glad to have found out something about her, although the reason for the search was my walk through the bush this morning in the company of my Occupational Therapist.

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 What is ‘the bush’? In New Zealand, it is the native forest, which once covered most of the land. Dense and dark, it was alive with birds, insects and lizards, but sometimes impenetrable to humans.

Much of it was cleared by the settlers but here in Wellington we are fortunate to have the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve.  This is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants.  I have written about this bush in the past – A walk in the bush.

It has rained quite lot over the past few days and so it was wet and muddy underfoot, but that didn’t deter us.

The bush walk

The native birds were singing, the sun decided to shine for a short time, the water was gushing in the stream and I was told that I could retire my walking stick as I was doing so well.  I have now acquired some Nordic Hiking poles which I have yet to try, so maybe when the physiotherapist comes to visit next week we can try them.

How lucky am I that I have both an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist looking out for me. Two completely different women with different training,  but both so caring and encouraging of my efforts.

 

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And now as it’s Tuesday, I shall have lunch and get ready to meet with my friend.  We shall probably hve a short walk and then go to her house for our usual game of Upwords and a cup of tea.

toward the sushine

Wet, Wild, Wellington Wednesday

weather2

“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing.
Whenever people talk to me about the weather,
I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.
And that makes me quite nervous.”
― Oscar Wilde

Well, we were warned that it was to be a cold wet and windy day.  Apparently there is a southerly storm creeping across the country and nowhere will be immune from it’s effects.  I guess that’s one of the things about living in a small long and narrow country.  Sometimes one just can’t get away from the storm.

Well, as you know I’m a pluviophile and I’m English and like walking in the rain so I got ready for today’s walk.  But discretion took over.  The wind is close to gale force at present and I was told in no uncertain terms to say inside.  So that I did and no walking today.

———-

But today was supposed to be called A Word on Wednesday.  You all know how I love words and get very excited when I find a new one.  Well yesterday I found one –

Peregrinate – to travel or journey especially on foot.  Henry James had this to say about peregrinate – “But I seem to travel, to peregrinate less and less and so I am reduced to living on my past accumulations” But not for me.  I propose to keep walking and finding ever new places to see.

———-

And now after lunch with a friend it’s 4pm and the sun is shining.  The only thing we haven’t had today in Wellington is snow, but we are promised the gale force southerly tonight, so who knows.

And just because I love this, I offer it to you.

Savour Kindness PG museum

The plaque at the entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice

 

Today is Tuesday

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good”
Leslie Bricusse, The Leslie Bricusse Songbook 

As I was so pleased with myself following yesterday’s walk, I decided to walk again today.

IMG_0739 (1)

This time I found some other steps leading from our road down towards the village. And this time there were not 132 steps to navigate but 154.

So I walked down and found myself in yet another road I had never seen before, then on to the village and a hot chocolate and a scone for lunch, although I was so hot I should really have had a cold drink.

Then back home, this time retracing yesterday’s walk to the village, past the primary school, along two roads and up those 132 steps. I must say this gets easier each day.

A shorter distance today – 2.90 kms and 6.9K steps. I wonder where I’ll go tomorrow.

I’m always thrilled at what one sees when walking that one completely misses when driving.  And if I hadn’t beenUpwords walking to the village instead of driving I wouldn’t have found these roads and would I ever have ventured down these steps.

Later I was picked up by a friend to spend the afternoon at her place, talking but mainly playing a game new to me called Upwords.

It has now become a regular weekly afternoon and I am certainly enjoying this new way of making this elderly brain work.

 

Meandering on Monday

Pluviophile

Pluviophile  – I learned this word from a blogging buddy, VivinFrance, who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us.  Still miss her.

I’m English so I like the rain and walking in it – that is of course, if I’m properly dressed. And today it’s pouring down.  So I’ll get properly attired and face the rain. I’m so thankful that I am able to walk again on my own.  Until recently I had to have somebody with me when I walked but two weeks ago I was given the all clear.  So another thing to add to my gratitude list.

Then shortly before 1pm the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Just to be expected in a NZ summer.  So I decided that rain gear wasn’t necessary and I would go for a walk.  But once I started I didn’t know when to stop.

I started up our long drive and put on the MapMyWalk Ap. Up the drive to the road and then down these 132 steps, then along to the village for coffee. I decided to come the other way home forgetting that it was all uphill.  There were some steps on the way but far fewer (36).   So 3.4kms in 57minutes. Very pleased with myself

Quetta Street Steps.jpg

Once I got home I realised how out of practice I was, so have to do more of this walking to get back into shape.  So a cup of tea, Stacey Kent on Pandora and my book and all was very well with my world.

Books tea

And today I have been given the date for my driving test.  When one suffers brain injury following an accident, one’s licence is immediately suspended for six months.  My friendly ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) Case Manager set this up for me.  So on October 6 I go for an off road test and then when I pass that, I will have another test driving my own car around the streets.  Hooray – the final hurdle in this latest “adventure”.

Oh and those of you have hung in since 2011 will know that this will be my fourth driving test.  I wonder if it will be as easy as the others.

And if you missed those posts and would like to read them, here they are:

The Driving Test 
Driving Test No 2
Driving Test No 3

 

 

 

 

Tulip Time at The Botanic Gardens

It has been a perfect Spring weekend – sunshine, warmth and little wind. In Wellington we are very fortunate to have not only the bush and the Town Belt in which to wander but also The Botanic Gardens. Today we took ourselves off to the Gardens to ooh and ah over the magnificent display of tulips.  Words are not necessary…

TulipsYellow tulips

The Gardens were teeming with people; young couples, older couples and definitely old couples, families with children all sizes and ages and dogs of every breed and some unknown breeds.

Saturday Again..

OK so it’s Saturday again.  Where did this week go?  Must have been  having fun!

Six word Saturday button

If you want to play along either click on the above image or go to http://www.showmyface.com/.

NEW DAY – NEW WALK – NEW FRIENDS

A couple of days ago  I wrote about a very simple pleasure bestowed on me by two little girls and I thought how lucky I am to live where I do, rather than in a retirement village surrounded only by other ‘oldies’.

So to Saturday.  Today started out as grey and very windy so as is my wont, I stayed in bed with my book having been brought breakfast –  juice, coffee and toast  – until well into the day.  When I did surface the wind was blowing and I thought it would be a stay at home day.

However, shortly after lunch I finished my book “The Dying Light” by Henry Porter and thought we should sally forth to the supermarket to buy whatever we needed for dinner.  While I had been reading about intrigue in the highest echelons of British politics, Prime Minister et al, my friend had been reading the daily newspaper and discovered there was a new (?) lookout on the hills above Wellington.  So we decided that we would try the walk to the lookout and then go to the supermarket.

By the time we worked out where we were going, the day had changed completely,  the sun was shining, the wind had dropped and it had become an almost perfect Spring day.

We found the new lookout Te Ahumairangi and marvelled at the sight of the city spread in its glory in front of us.

We also found this great place to walk Lotte without her lead.  She was really excited as she rarely is off the lead when out of the house.  On the walk we met several people exercising their dogs, so Lotte has a whole lot of new friends to meet on her walks in future because we will certainly be going back to this area of the town belt.

I have written before about how lucky we are in this capital city to have the town belt and how so many of the citizens fail to take advantage of the peace and serenity that it offers us in this busy world that we inhabit.  We certainly appreciated it today – the wind was absent for a short time and the sun shone.

Rainbow

My rainbow

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What a Difference a Day Makes

clock

“What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain.”
As sung by Dinah Washington

After yesterday’s miserable Moaning on Monday post, Tuesday dawned with sunshine and no rain.  And after a good night’s sleep I was back to normal, looking for the positive in all things.

After a morning sitting at the computer beavering away for my real estate friend, Lotte and I went for our usual walk this afternoon.  I have talked written before about the bush that surrounds our city and the great walks that are available to us.  So we rugged up warmly (very cold again today) and set off.

Central Park, Brooklyn, NZ

We started our walk in Central Park (named after the area of the same name in New York).  The park separates Brooklyn (where I live) from the city.  The park was established in 1913 on Town Belt land, the park features among other things, a set of wrought-iron gates at its main entrance: gifted to the city and its inhabitants in 1920 by the then  Mayor, John Pearce Luke.

It is interesting to note that during World War II, American forces established a military camp in the park between 1942 and 1944. In October 1942 building work started with an initial requirement to accommodate 416 men of the US Marine Corps. The partly built camp could accept some occupants by 22 November 1942, and by July 1943 it could accommodate 540 personnel.

And just for fun

If you live in Brooklyn, New York where is the furthest you can go from your home  yet still arrive in Brooklyn? The answer is Brooklyn, Australia, about thirty miles from Sydney.  The distance is about 10.530 miles.

And the second furthest?  Why Brooklyn in Wellington, NZ.  The distance between Brooklyn, NY and where I live is about 8,946 miles.

Now back to our walk.

It was late afternoon; the sunshine had disappeared and it was shortly before sunset.  The sun set today June 26 at 5 pm.  The trees were pretty bare and in places the fallen leaves which were damp were rather treacherous to walk on.

Lotte has to be kept on a lead in this park but in Tanera Park in Brooklyn she can roam in the designated dog area without a lead.  So we left Central Park and went into Tanera.  There Lotte saw a couple of friends and two very large strangers.  I am constantly amazed that my little dog thinks she is the same size as these Rottweilers, Dobermans (Dobbermen?) et al that inhabit our world.  But after an initial sniff, they seem to get on well.

Feeling thoroughly invigorated, but very cold, we returned home to our warm house for hot chocolate for me and water and a sleep in front of the fire for Lotte.

So yes, this has been a good day and quite a different day to yesterday.

“Every day is a new opportunity.  You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again.”
Bob Feller, American Baseball Player. 1918 – 2010


Walking at Night

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American poet.

As a break from writing fiction, I decided to have another attempt at writing an Etheree, a particular form of poetry.  This form was created some twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong.  An Etheree, consists of ten lines of un-metered and un-rhymed verse, the first line having one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

Here’s my attempt

Why
Do we
We Still walk here
Every night
Small dog and I
Together in the
Cold empty streets of town
Where nothing moves and no dogs roam
Where all is locked and barred for the night
We should both go home to our warm safe house.

Lotte and I always walk in the daytime but I have often wondered how different the world would be if we walked at night.  But I know that even here it is not safe for a woman and a small dog to be out late at night.

Note – I saw the repeated word and have now changed it.

“No matter how dark the night we know that whatever happens the sun will rise tomorrow and then all the shadows will be chased away.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger and friend. 1938 –