For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Arm update

As you can see I am able to walk and live comfortably during the day, but I am not sleeping at night. As soon as I lie horizontal I get pain in my shoulder despite the fact that it was the humorous that was broken. I have taken to sleeping downstairs in my armchair suitably propped up, but that is obviously a compromise and sleep has been poor ever since the op. I was up at 4:30 am this morning.

The arm is solidly bent at about seventy degrees, so I can't use it to wash my face or get food to my mouth with a fork or spoon, and I can't reach very far with it compared with my right arm, so I am now even more dexterous in the strict Latin meaning of that word. The arm and wrist are still weak and swollen, and my little finger and the left edge of my hand are permanently pins-and-needles and sometimes quite painful. I have had a sit in the car and I can operate the gear shift, but I intend to leave a try at driving for at least another week or so to give my arm the chance to settle down a bit more.

I am still awaiting an appointment with the physio and in the meantime I have devised my own set of exercises which I am doing every couple of hours. One step forward is that I have now resumed typing with two fingers instead of one.

I would be surprised if I can ever get the arm straight again, but it should improve to some extent with the exercises, but I reckon I will be permanently disadvantaged, but I see no reason why I shouldn't get back to multi-day walking. You will have read in the last post that I have tried on my rucksack and that is fine, and my exercises confirm that I can comfortably employ the arm in the motion required for walking with poles! On these local walks I have only been using one pole  for now.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Fraternity

I prefer to have an objective for a walk. I read maps like books; I suppose that includes several reasons, not least that our OS maps are works of art in their own right. I am also on the look-out for unusual features that cannot be fully explained by the map's graphics or  text, so these can provide potential targets for on the ground exploration.

A few years ago, before I was fully tuned into GPS,  I had spotted "Three Brothers" at SD 494 734. Memory is distant now but I recall investigating unsuccessfully on two occasions. Unfortunately I was relying on my less than precise skills, and also, I think on those occasions the Three had only been a secondary objective, and the terrain was challenging: quite thick old deciduous woodland, mini hills, dense bracken and no paths (marked on the map) and I was running out of time.

I can't remember now if I set off from home before, but it is six miles out (and six miles back), and today, as I am still not driving I had no option, so this would be my record distance walk since the accident. I experimentally tried on my daysack-rucksack and pleasingly found it was no problem, and a welcome improvement on the satchel I have been using.

Previously I had used the 1:50 map, but today, with the 1:25 I saw that there was a lane leading off the Tarmac road in the appropriate direction to within two hundred yards of the Three. That may not sound much, but it was pathless, up and down hills, and wading through thigh high bracken whilst consulting the GPS on Memory Map on my iPhone, and using my compass. Those two hundred yards from the lane took me fifteen minutes or so. GPS was telling me I was there, but stood in the bracken I was looking up to my right at a twenty foot high banking covered in brambles and shrubbery, and I was on the point of concluding the Three Brothers, whatever they were, had succumbed beneath that lot, but a few yards further a well defined path lead round the back of that banking, and there was number one, a limestone rock,  roughly cuboid and the size of a small car - not all that spectacular, and then twenty yards further another similar one. The third was smaller and another twenty yards further, but the alignment made it impossible to get them all in one photo together. All in all,  some may say, a pretty disappointing result for a twelve mile round walk, no pot of gold, but I was well satisfied. There were paths all over and I bashed on with my circular route.

Wolf House Gallery, teashop and painting gallery (RR once bought a painting there!), completed my pleasures with a thirst quenching pot of tea on this hot day along and a unique pecan nut flavoured sponge.


Hawes Water (Arnside/Silverdale AONB)

Leighton Hall

Two of Three Brothers (the third was behind the camera)

Clockwise. Red star indicates Wolf House Gallery 


Friday, 16 June 2017

Pot off!

Yesterday - appointment 9.55 am Lancaster hospital The plaster was removed using that panic-striking mini circular saw with a fear inducing high pitched whine. How on earth do they work? They seem to go dangerously near the flesh, but I have never heard of any resulting fatalities. Once the initial incision is made they have an ingenious tool that works like pliers in reverse forcing the crack apart. At one point there were three of them working on me, one holding my arm in an unnatural position and the other two cutting and prying.

Then it was off to x-ray (follow the red arrows on the floor). Again I seemed to be the exception. She wanted my arm in a position it refused to move to - much pain trying. She then had to manoeuvre her machinery into what seemed to be a rarely used vertical option combined with supporting my arm on various foam blocks.

Back with the consultant I was told the x-ray was ok and he prescribed a support gismo and muttered a few scanty instructions about exercise and I was bundled off into another room. Two nurses arrived carrying a selection of three hideous looking mechanical contraptions one of which they fitted to my arm - it looked like part of the Forth Railway Bridge. My arm will only straighten to about 70 degrees but the consultant had prescribed "no restriction" on the dial setting of the support thing so that in theory my arm could extend fully if it could physically do that, so I couldn't really see the point, and the two nurses seemed a bit vague about this monster's value - as I type it is lying abandoned on my study floor.

My arm feels lost and doesn't know whether to participate or not in certain actions, and on the whole I feel less adept and in control than I was under the discipline of only using one arm and the protruding fingers on the other. The arm is weak and my wrist feels as though it is sprained. Last night I had severe pain in my shoulder and didn't sleep, but it is ok during the day. The nurses again vaguely mentioned exercises, but I am awaiting an appointment at Kendal with the proper physios, meanwhile not being sure whether I will do more harm than good if I start exercising before I have had professional instructions. I always half suspected that I overdid it with my knee. I was told that I could let the arm dangle when appropriate, thus encouraging self-straightening.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Football


Having been a most times abstainer from football I feel a bit hypocritical admitting that I watched the England France game last night.

Ok, football is a fine spectator sport, and, although I wouldn't describe myself as ultra jingoistic I do take some interest when an England game is afoot, unless there is something more compelling ( I recorded  Cardiff Singer of the World to revel in after the sun had gone down).

My objections are directed at the endless cheating, diving, pansy faked pain and injury, and arguing with the referee, to say nothing of the obscene amounts of money involved.

There was one French guy who went down three times last night, and to see his acting combined with lengthy sessions with medics on the field you would have thought he'd broken his leg in three places, but miraculously he was up and running again after engineering these stoppages to the game and supposedly trying to convince the referee that a penalty should be awarded and his opponent sent off.

All that is pretty run-othe-mill stuff, but what prompted me to write this post arose from one of the commentators:

"It was a good foul, he didn't get booked"

I messaged my daughter who is a secondary school head of English with responsibility for, amongst other things, the instilling of good behaviour, firm moral values and potentially responsible citizenship in her school-kids. Her reply, "what hope?"

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Why do a large proportion of football managers...

chew gum disgustingly?

Look permanently miserable, even forcing themselves to refrain from at least smiling when there is good cause?

 I can understand those traits in a particular individual, but they mostly seem to follow the herd.

A refreshing exception -Jürgen Klopp

Monday, 12 June 2017

Over the border

The new game is to find footpaths that I can get to direct from home that I have not previously  walked. I found one short link path a kilometre from home, but after that I would need to cross to the eastern side of the A6 to find new ground.

The link path meandered pleasantly through semi-woodland on a decent limestone path with  pleasing alternations of brightness and shade bringing me back to familiar ground at Hazelslack Tower.

An old lane cuts across country to join the road over Slack Head and down to Beetham. Halfway along the lane a shower came from the east. I had to don my waterproof. Not easy. Whoops! that sounded like a Trumpism. The sleeve has to be threaded over my plaster cast, which itself forms an awkward right-angle, and the sleeve is only just wide enough. The other sleeve then has to be grabbed with my one useful hand and threaded, and then the whole wrinkled mess has to be pulled down and straightened; well I was in no hurry.

On the road ascent to Slack Head a car stopped and asked me the way to Arnside promenade. As a lifetime's outdoory I take use of maps for granted and perhaps unreasonably wonder when I realise that others don't. Slack Head has posh houses with large, ornate, remote controlled security gates equipped with intercom systems, and the houses hidden away up winding drives - drug barons?

Dropping down through the old part of Slack Head there was a house named The Tridlings that I've never noticed before. Research tells me it is a dialect name for rabbit droppings.

The post office at Beetham has an old English style teashop with white linen tablecloths and Edwardian decor. A toasted teacake and pot of tea. Bliss.

A few hundred yards down the A6, fortunately with a footpath, I was off onto a lane going east and my targeted new ground. At the start there was a huddle of four or five farming type guys and their parked vehicles. They seemed to be just packing up from whatever they had been about, but there were no clues - up to no good I suppose (I am in cynical mood today). The lane ended and a cut path through a wheat field took me to roads and my furthest point. The new territory proved to be boring compared with the earlier walking and my return route further on. Perhaps that is why I had not walked it before. Extending my boundaries gave me a total of 11.2 miles, the farthest so far since my tumble.

Start of new path (for me) One km. from home - looking back onto the road


Pleasant light and shade on the new path

Hazelslack tower

Rabbit droppings (dialect)

j
Just down from The Tridlings this  roadside shrine. Not often seen in the UK, but prolific in France. I thought this was more Roman Catholic, but it emanates from the Anglican church in Beetham (see plaque, next photo)

Also Leoba. Rather boring saint born in England around 700 AD
Click to enlarge
Anticlockwise. Start/finish south of Arnside station. Click to enlarge

I particularly like this meadow grass. don't know what it's called, but it has a delicate light pink colour that does mot come across too well here, and it sways and whisps in the wind as it catches the sunlight



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Appointment at hospital next Thursday, 15th June, hopefully for removal of plaster. Some pessimists have suggested they might put another one on.
I anticipate a long period of physio to get it working again.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Two fingers up to extremism and thumbs up for music

Until a week ago I had never heard of Ariane Bonde. I have minimal connection  with pop music, but I felt compelled to watch Love Manchester tonight.

Suggestions had been made that this was too soon after the event, I don’t agree. Music has more power than well meaning but often repetitive and mechanical statements from  politicians and others, and the concert conveyed an immediate response to, and condemnation of the futility of these atrocities. 

Tonight’s performance may not have been to everybody’s musical taste, but for me it was a moving experience and for a change a valuable contribution from celebrities as role models for our younger generation - tonight celebrities rose to the occasion.

From just a performance viewpoint I was impressed with Little Mix and Cold Play.