Walking is definitely one of the best forms of medicine

Mon 8 – Sun 14 March 2021

Thank goodness for walking. Like many people, I am really missing the exercise routine I used to have before the pandemic. Things like the gym and the swimming pool never mind the sauna and the jacuzzi. 🙁 Since March 2020 I have tried to do more jog-running especially slow jog-runs as an attempt to burn calories and not aggravate my knee injury. But the latter is getting to be a bigger problem for me.

Walking in b&w

So thank goodness for walking. I love long walks and my main one at the moment is the journey to and from my partner’s and my mum’s place in our support bubble. About two hours each way at a leisurely pace. But this walking is clearly so good for my physical and mental health. I think it’s Trisha Goddard who said that one way she dealt with her depression was simply putting her baby in the buggy and walking miles to clear her head.

Health and Efficiency

No slow jog runs

Well my main (only) exercise last week was my long walking detailed above. No slow jog-runs still simply because of lack of time and my ongoing knee problems. Lack of time is very much due to ongoing efforts around job search. But the walking I am doing also takes up time and knackers me out in itself.

Early morning waking

The latter is not a bad thing – we need to get tired out in order to sleep well at night. And I sleep so deeply these days. But I am getting back to my old habit of waking as the sun rises which can be frustrating as there is not much reason to get up at 6.30am. 🙁

Being able to hear better again

Got my ears micro-suctioned on Friday. It’s much better than syringing. My ears getting blocked with wax and needing unblocking has been something I’ve needed to do every 6 months since I was a teenager. Great to be able to hear more clearly afterwards though it did also leave me feeling a bit light-headed initially.

Haircut for mental health

In my previous blog (read it here) I spoke about how my messy hair was getting me down. I got so cheesed off that I insisted my poor partner Dave use the clippers to give me a number 5 crew cut all over. Very fraught especially when the clippers ran out of power and I had to trust him to cut the remainder of my hair with the kitchen scissors 🙁 LOL. All good eventually. My hair ain’t perfect but I definitely feel better with it more under control and I can wait better for a few more weeks until the barbers reopen. 🙂

Weight loss

man weighing himself

Good news is that looks like my weight has gone down a bit. My diet hasn’t changed massively and the only thing I can put it down to is the calorie burn by walking. It might also be that I am in a zone of between 13-3 and 13-5 without going over or under that. Good in itself but a sort of frozen situation rather than progress.

Another rejection, another interview

the manager from The Devil Wears Prada

I can honestly say my long walks help me get rid of some of the frustration that comes from looking for a job. Walking gives you perspective on things and allows you to stop dwelling on stuff especially when it is over and gone. Got news at the start of the week that despite very positive noises from the agency dealing with a job I applied for, the chair of the charity had not shortlisted me. 🙁

But good news in that I have got a first interview for another job next Friday. So 2 interviews next week. And I spent a lot of time this week just gone on preparing the presentation for my 3rd stage interview on Monday. Also spent time on a new cover letter / application for a job with a closing date of 9am on Mon 15th.

The pain of a missed phonecall

Surprise on the phone

Bit of a fuck up on Fri when I missed the call from my Job Centre Plus support worker. 🙁 One of those situations where you are waiting for an important call and somehow miss it. I’m sure my phone didn’t ring. Thankfully I sent an email and she phoned me back.

She’s pleased with the progress I am making in my job search and walks a good line between raising my spirits but also being realistic with me. 🙂

Personal Development

Languages

Progressed with my usual language learning but it’s not at the pace it once was. As I’ve said before, job search takes up a lot of time and TBH so does walking. However, I do try to do some language learning soon after I get up to make sure I do it and because I’m at my best in the morning.

Tech particularly SEO

Also continued to do my Free Code Camp exercises to improve my tech skills. And I watched a webinar on Search Engine Optimisation. A very useful explanation of how Google works when it does it searches. And lots of advice on how to boost your own rankings as well as identify niches to build your reputation in. I would highly recommend the company who did the webinar if you want to boost your WordPress knowledge and skills – Pootlepress.

Sustainability

Yep I’m still powering on with selling off some of my worldly possessions. As a way to make money, give things to people who can love them again, and delete my own materialism. It is fascinating the value some things have for some people. Coincidentally, it’s been a week when we’ve heard lots about NFTs – Non-Fungible Tokens. Basically digital art acting like bitcoin going up and down in value over time. Does seem another crazy aspect of capitalism. 🙂

The potential value of Universal Basic Income

On a separate note, please do read this fascinating article about the real life experience of instigating a UBI so that everyone received a minimum income. This could help undermine the way capitalist theory underpins so much of our thinking and reduce poverty without the money being misused as some would suggest.

Art and Culture

‘Eyes without a face’ (Les yeux sans visage)

Still watching my TV favourites: the soaps, Doctors, New Life in the Sun, Drawers Off. But also back to European cinema last week. ‘Eyes without a face’ is a French horror classic from 1960. Fairly tame by modern standards but controversial for its time – watching a woman’s face being operated is pretty nasty. Also noted now for its poetic and fairy tale like context plus the influence it had on other films and film-makers. You can read more about it here on the eternally wonderful Wikipedia. 🙂

Books and Reading

‘Maus’ by by Art Spiegelman

In my previous week’s blog (read it here), I pointed out the pleasure in reading a great graphic novel like ‘Stuck Rubber Baby’. Followed up on that by reading this equally brilliant one. Indeed, this is one of the first graphic novels that really put the genre on the map. The horrors of the holocaust depicted in black and white cartoon strip with animals portraying people. A really stirring read and I must get hold of the second volume.

‘Mexican Gothic’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

So this was the book I have been reading on my kindle as I do my therapeutic walking. It’s lovely on a long walk to slip into a book then dip out of it to appreciate the world around you or listen to something on your headphones. For me, the latter is normally a Big Finish Dr Who adventure. 🙂

Spirit

Mexican Gothic is a contemporary novel written in 2020 and set in 1950s Mexico. A great piece of horror, it fits into the common horror genre of the haunted house. In this case it is the house seeming to be able to take control of the human inhabitants.

There is an intriguing scientific explanation as to what is happening – won’t go into details in case you want to read the book. If you like modern gothic horror then this is the book for you. 🙂

Family and Friends

The mums and Mother’s Day

My mum is fine though I’m having to encourage her to go out occasionally to get some exercise, fresh air, and daylight. / Vitamin D. As we are in a support bubble, so I was able to see her on Mother’s Day. Though it was far from normal – no family meal of me and my brother with our partners at the Union Jack Club. Perhaps next year. 🙁 Dave could not see his mum and was generally lamenting the fact that his very sociable mother hasn’t had anyone at her flat for lunch or dinner for about a year. 🙁

Oh to be walking along a Mediterranean seafront

The seafront at Sitges

Had my normal weekly catch-up with Phyllis. He is fine though thinks he might have damaged the knee he had an operation on. 🙁 I do envy him walking along the seafront at Torremolinos enjoying the scenery and sunshine.

Indeed, that is one of my favourite things on holiday, going on long walks without a care in the world. I miss the Costa Del Sol, Gran Canaria, and Sitges. 🙁 Meanwhile, check out this nice gay guide to Torremolinos. 🙂

The Week Ahead

  • So 2 interviews – one with the dreaded presentation (fingers crossed for no tech problems). And I am sure I will be working on a new cover letter for a new vacancy.
  • Lots of lovely walking to deal with my frustrations and tension. Certainly got to walk over to be with mum on Wed when someone is coming to repair her boiler. Sorting this out with the Housing Association was a task in itself the week just gone.
  • Two tech webinars. First, how to use Gutenberg (the main software for WordPress) better. Second, how to speed up your website. This is so important to keep readers’ attention and for your site ranking.
  • Lots of normal stuff including language learning, Free Code Camp exercises, fave TV, the weekly catch-up with Phyllis, and selling/offloading 🙂
  • Looking forward to finishing the 2 books I’ve got on the go at the moment (Simon Raven and an explanation of Queer Theory) and starting a new one. Also some new movies to watch. 🙂

And Finally…

Don't believe everything billionaires tell you

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