kilos and steps

Three years ago, I started the “diabetes prevention” course: a bit more exercise and a slightly changed diet. The last year has been OK on the exercise front, at an average of 3663 steps a day (about 5,000 in the 7 months of “summer” BST, and just over half that in the dark GMT months). I’m happy with that, especially as covid laid me low for six weeks or so. It’s an improvement on 2020-1 (3,304 steps) and 2021-2 (3074 steps).
Less good is my weight. From 74kg at the start of Feb 2020, down to 67.7 in 2021, and 65.2 last year, it’s crept up to 68.4. A target average of 1800 calories a day seems to put on the pounds! I’m dropping my daily ration to 1700 calories … fingers crossed, as I don’t think I can face going back to the 1500 calories of my first year of watching weight.
It’s all a far cry from my working life, where I was steady on 55kg for twenty-odd years!


I have an extremely dodgy knee at the moment, so have spent the day with my legs propped up on the stool and taking regular painkillers (compression bandage due for delivery tomorrow). Chelsea-cat thinks this is great, as it gives her a warm lap to sit on! Me, not quite so impressed, but not feeling capable of out-stubborning her.

Vile morning!

An early fog lifted to a morning of low cloud, leaving everywhere outdoors covered in a film of moisture and the air inside damp. Arthritis in fingers, wrist and ankles duly experienced. I was severely tempted to stay in bed with coffee and ibuprofen, but got a text advising me of a delivery between 0950 and 1050. As deliveries are sometimes early, I had no choice but to get up.

It turned out to be ten thousand sheets of A5 paper for the Green Party, in three large heavy boxes. At least it was nothing fiddly requiring manual dexterity!

By noon there’s sporadic breakthroughs of sunshine, so I’m a bit more in working order, and should manage to sow tomatoes today (Valentine’s Day) as is my tradition. This year will be the orange “Monkton Wylde” that was a success last year, and my usual “Black Russian”.

Osteo …

My sister Jane has just had her 3-year followup DXA scan, and been told she’s progressed from “very mild” to “severe” osteoporosis. My brother Simon has been on meds for it for a couple of years, and I showed up as “osteopenia but not (yet) osteoporosis” three years ago.

My 3-year follow-up was due in November. I’d been told that I’d automatically be called for a repeat scan. I asked about this last summer, as I was seeing my GP for something else, and was assured it would be dealt with. I finally managed to get in touch with a GP today (by dint of contacting them on line and waiting a fortnight for a phone appointment, as is usual for non-urgent stuff). I was informed that there’s no longer any automatic followup, but that she would now refer me for another scan!

There seems to be something wildly adrift about GPs and DXA scans – things 3 years ago weren’t exactly trouble-free!

getting more active

Yesterday was over to Birmingham, to Synexus for the RSV trial: they wanted to de-briefme after I’d had covid. A train strike day, and as usual for West Midland there were no trains between Worcester and Brum. Fortunately, when Synexus made the appointment, I’d asked them to organise a cab in the absence of trains, which duly happened.

The afternoon was a call to Faithfull Alarms, as there’s been a problem with mu alarm since the day after I got covid. Nothing serious, but it bleeped annoyingly every five minutes, unless I pressed “disarm”, which silenced it for four hours. A quick five minutes of replacing the battery fixed it – obviously a dud battery, as it was done late November and should have lasted two years plus.

Also yesterday, a belated discussion with Clare about the “Blue Best” – my old electric bike. We agreed a price, and I got an email this morning to say that she and Ian will come round for coffee and to collect it tomorrow (Thursday). This rather inspired me to catch up on some of the housework I haven’t been up to for nearly three weeks, due to covid fatigue / laziness.

finally !

Today I tested negative for covid – at last! I’ve been +ve since 19th, which rather buggered up Christmas. If I get another negative test tomorrow, I’ll be deemed non-infectious. I’m still feeling generally grotty, so don’t actually expect to be going out, but at least can skip putting on a mask when answering the door to the postie & delivery drivers. I expect it will take a week or two before I feel free of the after-effects.

the Red Line gets thinner …

LFT test today, rather earlier than I have been doing them, as I had an Ocado delivery booked for the 1000-1100 slot. It’s actually slightly more promising: the red line is definitely less pronounced. I’m hoping that this isn’t just an artefact of this single test! Apparently, it’s rare for Omicron variant to show positive for more than 10 days (which I’ve passed), so I’m hoping tomorrow may be clear.

I do still feel pretty grim: headaches, still very snotty, and a bit brain-fogged. I have a kinda nasty feeling that it’s going to be a long haul to return to normal … but winters are always a bit difficult and I usually feel distinctly sub-par between late December and late March with non-specific achy/snotty/sinus things, so it may be difficult to tell if it’s extended covid or not.

No news from plague villas

Wednesday 28th – Chloe’s birthday. Sadly, I’m missing it! I’m still testing positive for covid, – on the tenth day since the first positive test, twelve days from the first symptom (which was an odd back ache I first thought might be kidneys). A delivery of more LFT tests is due this afternoon, as I’ve got through rather more than I’d hoped: Amazon Prime this time, as everyone else was only offering January deliveries.

Synexus rang at about 1045 – a bit earlier than I’d planned on calling them. The appointment due tomorrow has now been rescheduled for 3rd January, and because of rail strikes I’ve asked to be collected by cab.

Still feeling snotty and headachy, and this morning my wrists and hands ache – though that’s probably because it’s been raining all morning. I’m finding concentration and reading difficult, and last night opted for TV on catchup: it was the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, of which I watched the first one.

My appetite seems unaffected … well, perhaps increased! I’ve put on 2 kg since Christmas Eve, which is slightly alarming. I just seem to be craving carbs at the moment.

Boxing Day

I had a pretty good Christmas Day, but today has seen a return to snotty aching covidness and feeling grim. My appetite is unimpaired, even if things do taste a bit odd, but I haven’t felt up to cooking. A delivery of fish and chips (and mushy peas) was the answer.

Delivered in – what else? – a box.

Christmas Day

Only the second time I’ve spent Christmas Day on my own. The last time was a dozen years ago, in London. I’m not feeling as covid-ed as I was, though this morning’s test was still firmly positive. In fact, halfway through waiting for the test to finish I got a phone call from Clare, asking me to go to the front window. She and Ian were outside on the pavement, so there was much cheerful waving and exchanges of “Merry Christmas”.

I’d been asked to set up a Zoom with those at Green Mount, which was timed for 1600h. It started off with Mum on her ipad, plus Theo / Chloe / Jane in the kitchen. Mum had actually managed to make it downstairs to the sitting room – her first trip downstairs for a couple of months. The kitchen mob disconnected after a bit, as the internet connection at Green Mount isn’t really up to two Zooms: it’s the “upload” side that’s so bad, as there’s no problem with several people watching different things simultaneously.

I’m now having a sit-down before tackling preparing Christmas Dinner. The duck (which has been gently unfreezing for the last two days) is out of the fridge and unwrapped, to come to room temperature. Sadly, I have no sprouts (ASDA was out, and substituted broccoli in yesterday’s delivery), but with planned roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and broccoli I think I’m OK! No Christmas Pudding either, though I do have mince pies … perhaps best left for tomorrow.