Showing posts from September, 2022

Keep Lifting

  A US study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine attracted widespread coverage today. Whilst my Fitbit congratulates me for exceeding 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, it seems that this accolade now comes with the ringing endorsement that coupling 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical exercise with muscle strengthening potentially extends life. That's good, as three times a week I combine a strength class with Zumba or HIIT, with swimmming and additional Pilates sessions thrown in for good measure. 150 minutes? Far, far more but then I am making up for lost time spent in an office or lounging on a sofa. Obviously I'd like to think that muscular and aerobic activity could be a prominent feature of the whole of my retirement but I'm not entirely convinced by the prospect of continuing this routine into my eighties or beyond. Endorphins or not, the idea of moving from zimmer frame to press-ups is strangely fascinating. A definite challeng

In Focus

  Last week I visited the optician's for the first time in 3 years, after the pandemic intervened to interrupt my normal pattern of biennial eye tests. I was a little concerned that having broken the spectacles that I used for driving in my fall, I was not seeing as well as I should through my back-up pair. Had the fall affected my vision long-term or was it a case of age related deterioration that's inevitably par for the course in retirement? Gracious, it turns out that my eyes actually see distances much better now than a few years ago. Perhaps I should have realised when I jettisoned spectacle-use for watching television and for driving have preferred to wear the older glasses from a prescription many years ago, following my last eye test when I was told that my eyesight was closer to that prescription than the one two years before. The optician offered a number of explanations: it could be that my eyes are going through a cross-over period between long and short sightedn

If it's Wednesday, Where Am I?

 I don't know how everyone else manages but there are occasions when I just find retirement so exhausting. Take travel for instance: following the trip to Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland we had a 2 night sojourn before making a 6 hour dash by road up to Oban to prepare the retirement project for lifting-out ready for winter onshore.  We followed two nights there with a long drive home for a pit stop before setting off next morning to explore parts of Yorkshire that we are less familiar with, staying over in Ilkley and then venturing to Saltaire the next day. The Rivers Wharfe and Aire may not be quite up to David Livingstone standards but exploration and discovery enliven even when they are just round the corner, so to speak. Salts Mill and the village surrounding it were particularly fascinating and lived up to their designation by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Visiting so many places in such a short period of time, however, might get the blood and energy flowing b

Air Miles

   Pre-pandemic, Mister E and I never quite counted the Emirates' air-miles accumulated from travelling to and from New Zealand on two occasions . Indeed, we assumed that having failed to book any further flights they would have lapsed but a couple of months ago received emails suggesting we had only a limited time left to make a booking with them. Use them or lose them, was the moral of the tale. Of course, that sparked some interest, quickly turning to disappointment when we discovered that when it comes to rewards the equivalent of twice around the world even in business class doesn't stretch to a free flight to the nearest town (not that there are any airports but you appreciate my drift). Truth be told malaise set in and they would probably have disappeared without trace until Mister E discovered that they could be exchanged for hotel nights in the UK. Hence, courtesy of air miles, we have now had two nights away to coincide with Mister E's birthday. Better still we ha

National Mourning

The Queen is dead, long live the King and 10 days of national mourning are not traditions that many of us will have experienced before. Driving to Lincolnshire on Thursday, it was obvious from the constant radio reports pertaining to the Queen's health that all was not as it should be. We were spending the night in Stamford, a town renowned for its number of mediaeval churches. Returning to our hotel room after a long stroll around the streets, there was no update and then suddenly a single church bell began its sombre chime. We made the association almost immediately although it was moments later before there was confirmation on the BBC of the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II. How strange but how poignant that in 21st century Britain we still learnt of the demise of the monarch from the tolling of a bell rather than technology. Of course, some are now questioning whether the national response is an over-reaction for modern times. With the exception of those over 70, none of us ha

Risk Averse

Mister E and I have concluded that it is time to get some serious travelling underway again. When the pandemic struck we had just embarked on the start of our ambitious plan to visit every EU member country before the transition period for Brexit ended; the Adieu Tour, as we named it, however, came to an abrupt end with only Cyprus under our belts. Perhaps it's time to resurrect the idea with a Missing EU series of trips. Of course before we can organise anything there's the tricky issue of travel insurance. We let our annual policy lapse as a consequence of the restrictions on travel over the last couple of years and investigating a replacement has proved something of a shock. It seems all those hospital visits earlier this year have done me no favours. I may have been given a clear bill of health so far as the heart is concerned but that emergency admission coupled with the discovery of a gallstone after one single uncomfortable episode, have upped the premium to eye-waterin