Tag Archives: health


I am no spring chicken. I am well aware of this fact. I am also becoming aware I really should have taken a bit more care of myself when I was younger.

I have an active brain. It’s always churning away on something. Some nights it keeps me awake because it won’t let go of something. I may be worrying over how to accomplish a task on a model build currently on the workbench, or I may be reliving some disaster in the previous day or so and how I could have either prevented it or retained more dignity than perhaps I may have managed at the time. I think it’s fair to say my brain is the most active part of me!

As I grow older, it is becoming more critical that I begin to take an active, albeit belated, interest in looking after myself. I need to lose weight, and I need to do some exercise.

I bought a bike a few years ago. For a while I was riding it every day or so, building up stamina, feeling better for moving various bits of me that don’t customarily move quite that much. Then we had some bad weather, and the bike stayed in the shed longer. Winters and springs came and went, and the bike remained locked away. A pang of guilt strikes every time I venture into the shed to retrieve something or other. There’s my bike, sitting there, patiently. I will often flick the bell on the handle bars, for old time’s sake. Perhaps this year, I think to myself. Perhaps I will get back on the bike.

I see people running, or pounding away on machines at leisure centres and gyms, and I wonder what they see in it. What is going on in their heads while their body burns the calories? Could their lives be so empty that they actually get pleasure from physical exercise? I know exercise releases chemicals into the brain that makes you feel better, so perhaps that’s it. After a while, it must become an addiction.

Last year I had a run in with the medical world, as we tried to find out why my heart was seemingly skipping a beat or three very frequently. Again, the rejoinder was to change lifestyle, get more exercise, lose weight. If only it was that simple. Now, it seems, my blood pressure has decided it needs to be higher than normal. My body may be ganging up on my brain after all!

The trouble is I’m a lazy sod. I know I need to exercise more. I realise it’s for my own good. But that active brain of mine keeps nagging at me that if I start walking every day, or—heaven forfend—break out the bike again, it’s time away from productive work. Walking anywhere without a purpose, or riding up and down the same bit of road, just for the sake of burning calories and building up muscles is not my idea of time well spent. The simple fact is I find exercise the most tedious waste of time. I don’t, I tell myself, have time to spend away from things that might be much more interesting, or even making some kind of living.

Then again, I can’t afford to be ill. I am just going to have to find the time to get a little fitter. It looks like the bike will see daylight once again. The time has come, it seems, to take my lifestyle by the throat and give it a good shaking. Wish me luck.

Still here!

Just in case you thought I’d fallen off the planet or something, here’s a quick update on life in Snaptophobic Towers.

I’ve been seduced by Google+. If you have been, too, you can search for me by name and add me to a circle or three. I’m bound to reciprocate.

Meanwhile, I am guaranteed at least another week of freelancing at the Treacle Mines in Folkestone. After that, well, who knows. I hope they may ask me back for the odd month or two every now and then. Meanwhile, I am still looking for a proper full time job, although I am open to offers of freelance design stuff if it comes along. If I can get a month on, month off in Folkestone I will still be a happy camper.

A while ago I thought it might be useful to acquire a bicycle. To put this in context, I haven’t actually ridden a bicycle since I passed my driving test in the very early 1980s. However, venturing forth with the camera gear has shown me that it would be useful on occasion to be able to extend my range after parking the car, beyond what I can comfortably walk. Rather than all the palaver with bike racks and whatnot, I thought a folding bike would be perfect. Initially, I was looking at the small-wheeled commuter variety, which are designed to fold up into fairly small spaces for storage and transport. However, I wasn’t convinced such a contraption would be able to adequately cope with the occasional off-road adventure I might encounter.

Luckily, there is a larger folding bike available, a mountain bike style lightweight frame with 26in wheels and 21 gears. It’s not as compact as the commuter style, but I felt it would still fit in the car with the back seats down. 

Today, I visited the bike store, tried the bike in the car, liked what I saw and bought it, well a black one rather than the white one I tested*. I need to make some space to store the thing at home, so I will collect it next weekend. If nothing else, I hope it will encourage me to get out in the open, exercising, and losing some weight. There’s also the whole new galaxy of accessories and gizmos aimed at cyclists I can spend my money on. I suspect the first things I’ll buy are a more comfortable saddle and a sensible bike lock. 

I’m really looking forward to it! There will be photos once I have the machine in my possession. Stay tuned.



*Due to poor communication, I have apparently bought the white one. The black model has a £20 premium which pushed it outside my budget. =o

Wah! We’re all going to die! Argh!

I like Doctor Rosemary. She always pricks the news presenters’ pomposity and refuses to get dragged into the hyperbole.

H1NI “Swine Flu” is just flu. It is as dangerous as ordinary seasonal influenza — in other words it’s only dangerous to people with underlying health problems. If you catch it and you’re otherwise healthy, you won’t die. Just go to bed, take lots of fluids, pop some paracetamol and you’ll get over it in a few days. You’ll feel pretty ill for a while, but you’ll get over it.

Typically, seasonal flu kills about 60,000 people globally each year. Swine flu, so far, seems to have killed a tiny fraction of that in two years. The media is intent on hyping up something to biblical proportions which is less dangerous than crossing the road.

Almost back to normal


A short time ago I blogged about my back and neck problems. I didn’t mention that along with the skeletal and muscular woes I was also diagnosed with early onset osteoporosis a few years ago.

It was the osteopath that suggested I get a bone density scan organised, just to check that things were okay before they began any serious cracking of joints and stuff. That was about five years ago, and I was diagnosed as losing bone density pretty quickly. I was put under a specialist, and prescribed treatment of plenty of calcium in my diet (I like milk, so that’s good) and drugs. I have a scan done once a year, and I meet with the specialist shortly after.

This year, the scan showed definite signs of improvement over the previous year. Today, I met with the specialist, and he pronounced himself very pleased with the results. It seems my spine is now pretty much normal again, and the hips, while not fully back to normal are definitely on the up.

So, it’s all good news. I’m to stay on the drugs for a few more years, try to exercise more, lose a bit of weight (like I haven’t been trying), and things should be good.

It definitely makes me feel happier. For a period in the early days, I felt quite fragile, and took extra care to avoid trips and so on. Earlier this year, I did manage to take quite a tumble and severely sprained my wrist, but nothing actually broke. I’ll still be careful when I’m out and about, as is only sensible. 

Of course, life could always be better. Then again, I don’t actually want for much. Health and happiness have a lot going for them, I’d say.