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A Humdinger

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    Oh my goodness! After avoiding sniffles and sneezes for over 2 years, Yours Truly is suffering big time. Sadly, in May 2022, we can't even tell if it's a common cold or Covid-19, the symptoms, especially after vaccination, apparently being very similar. I'm also conscious that I attended the party I blogged about last time and what could be better for spreading a cold, Covid or other infectious disease than conversing by shouting over music? No more function rooms, let's call them what they are: Soup Kitchens for the cultivation of viruses. On the plus side, I'm testing negative but then stories abound, from multiple people I know, of  failing to register a positive test until several days after first experiencing symptoms. In the meantime the Eldest and Dilly  are due to arrive tomorrow for the weekend, after their previous trip was postponed at the last minute when Dilly tested positive. I could, of course, be veering completely on the wrong tack and this may

Party Girl

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    Definitely out of practice. A family party to celebrate a double retirement at the weekend and I'm still in recovery mode. Worse still that's despite playing the part of the no-drinking driver and being home and tucked up in bed by 11.30pm. It was a great night for dancing, even if I did find the music several decibels louder than I might have chosen but my knees continue to pay the price. My throat too still feels hoarse from all the shouting over the sound system.  Well for an hour or three it was good to recall that this is how the Saturday nights of youth were regularly spent. Now, in retirement, a party only comes around every 6 to 8 months; probably just long enough for the euphoria to abate and a proper recuperation to take effect. Retirement is a worthy cause for celebration  but in this instance I even wondered if I was actually the only fully retired person in the room. The shining example for all to aspire to as I strutted my stuff on the dance floor... or, in re

Screaming

 😱😱😱 One third of the way through a long Bank Holiday weekend and I awoke this morning feeling like a cross between Edvard Munch's The Scream and that screeching emoji. To be more precise and to clarify, it was my muscles that were screaming though, not my vocal chords. Despite knowing better, not only did I spend all day yesterday digging, lifting and bending in the garden but I totally overlooked stretching off afterwards. Away from a studio class, stretches of the quad, calf and hamstring, not to mention back and side bends, don't seem to feature in my regular routine. After 6 hours of hard labour they really must; the tragedy of course was that I only remembered this when I descended the stairs this morning, rigid and in agony. One of the tribulations of my retirement is always that I want my body to do more than ever whilst caught in a never ending spiral of ageing and stiffness. Fortunately the pain has eased, not least after deliberately extending my limbs and spine i

Cognitive Ability and the Barry Humphries UK Tour 2022 Promo Clip

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Ageing and memory loss purportedly go hand in hand; Covid-19 and brain fog dominate the headlines; there's also menopause with the impact on cognitive functions of changing oestrogen levels. Is it little wonder that I am a tad paranoid at present? Then at the weekend the Observer published a story on the hidden long terms risks of surgery  where studies have shown that the brain takes a pounding in the arms of anaesthesia. Call me neurotic if you wish but I am now constantly on the look out for personal symptoms signalling a worrying decline. I'm not sure that, whilst lunching with my brilliant gym buddies today, muddling up the name of a potential venue for a future meet up is a concerning sign or not. Still I am conscious that where once I might have relied on pure mental ability to house a personal calendar and schedule deadlines, I now have a tendency to make a digital list synchronising across all devices. Mister E prefers paper and pen, but as a consequence

A Satisfying Combination

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  I wholeheartedly subscribe to the notion that Nature always uplifts the spirit. Don't, therefore, dismiss me for the fact that I enjoy spending many hours of my retirement in the garden and no, I don't mean on a sun-lounger. The long Easter weekend has seen me pottering in the flower borders, sowing vegetable seeds in the greenhouse and taking cuttings from shrubs for propagation. I understand that this is not necessarily how many might wish to pass their time but perhaps they may feel more empathy with my means of deriving enjoyment if I divulge that the weekend culminated with an evening in the village pub. The third Monday of the month and it was of course Gardening Club! Well sometimes you do have to take your hobbies to that next level and what better way than discussing the finer points of soil, slugs and spuds whilst sipping a drink. It truly made my heart sing which, believe me, is better than it beating too fast.    

One Down, Two to..

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 One visitor down, I thought, as I waved the youngest off on Thursday afternoon following a far too brief stay. I quickly comforted myself with the thought that there were two more to welcome, with Dilly and the eldest scheduled to arrive yesterday. Having guests to stay and mixing over the long Easter Bank Holiday weekend is of course almost a novelty after being strictly prohibited for the last two years. Sadly, Covid-19 intervened again when Dilly tested positive on Thursday night after feeling under the weather for a couple of days. In a spirit of preparation we had, of course, already filled the fridge in readiness. Whilst some items could be frozen the prospect of more generous portions than usual and an empty diary saw me heading quickly to the gym where I even booked an extra class. I'm sure that in retirement I eat nothing like the quantity I used to, but burning extra calories just in case suddenly seemed a perfect way to spend Good Friday!  The weather has taken a turn f

Gotcha

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  It's never good to be taken for a fool but that's what happened to me this morning. Like a significant percentage of the global population I have become a Wordle addict and exchange results and methodology with the youngest daily. To be fair, we only started to do this in the early days of my recuperation but it has nevertheless now become a breakfast time habit.  This morning, in light of the lack of letters revealed by my starting word and follow up, I was seriously proud of myself for cracking the puzzle in three rows. At best I thought the youngest might have equalled the score but no, she proclaimed herself a victor with her opening guess. Of course, I was amazed; not so much at any skill or ingenuity (that only arises when one of us solves it in two) but at the sheer fluke that must have occurred in predicting exactly the same word as an algorithm. "You're not just in tune with that algorithm, you are it," I told her in our exchange of messages, graciously