Completion – Juneathon 2018, Day 30

It’s here. Finally. The end of blogging about my exercising each and every day for the entire month. I will happily continue to exercise, but this daily blogging always wears me out.

I have not been slacking this Juneathon. There were 2 days when I didn’t manage to blog, but I’m perfectly happy with my reasons for that.

I don’t do anywhere near as much excercise as other Juneathoners. And that’s fine too. I have done as much as I possibly can. Considering that it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t cross a room without aid, I’m very happy with the fact that yesterday I collapsed into the car after a 2 mile walk.

Today was more sedate. Today was not only the last day of Juneathon, it was also the 30th of June. And that made it a slightly significant day in terms of Geocaching. Earlier this week I reached a massive milestone of having found 2,000 of the little hidden treasures. But the statistics don’t stop there.

Today I was working on my 365 grid. I don’t think I’ll ever fill it all in because I can’t guarantee that I’ll be well enough to head out for caches on specific days. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Basically, today was one of the dates in the year that I have never found a cache. I wanted that little white rectangle to turn into a green one.

And so, The Old Trout and I clambered into our geocache-mobile and went in search of our closest unfound cache.

Guess what it was 😉

What with that, and traipsing around Go Outdoors for a new airbed for herself, I reached my daily step goal and am refusing to do anything else. But I have warned her that if I catch her jumping up and down on the new air bed I will not be amused.

Day 30 – reached daily step goal

Steps Taken – 5,275

Good bye. Talk to you again in January 😘


A tiring walk – Juneathon 2018, Day 29

I was determined to head out for a walk today. It was still blisteringly hot. But I felt much better than yesterday. Unfortunately the Old Trout was not. She has been having a bad day. This was made worse when I said “The car is leaking. Look, we’ve left a puddle.” as she was busy reversing out of a tight spot.

A few minutes later we were parked underneath some shady trees. I had carried out several expert tests: I had dibbled my fingers in the puddle and discovered that it strangely tasted like water. I’d laid down on the tarmac to look at the source of the drip, only to bounce back up quickly when I found that the floor really was lava and that my thighs were burning. And I was getting out the little red warning triangles with ease, whilst thinking about the air conditioned pub just over the road, that we’d just happened to break down beside. The next couple of hours waiting inside there for a repairman were going to be horrible… Free WiFi too…

And then the Old Trout informed the RAC operator what our problem was. The operator kindly informed her that it was more than likely the air-conditioner overflow. Had we been using the air conditioner? Yes, yes we had. It’s been one of few things keeping me sane in this heat.

And so it was with more than a tinge of regret that I folded the little red triangles back up again. I could have really done with an ice-cold shandy.

Instead I started walking along a little, shady lane close to our campsite. I left the Old Trout behind. She had strict orders to pick me up at the other end of the walk. She’s good like that. I don’t know what she does whilst I’m wandering around. Perhaps she whittles little pixies out of lumps of wood she finds near the car parking spaces. She certainly doesn’t have a well earned rest if the worn out, frazzled woman with the wide-eyed stare that greeted me at the end of my walk today is anything to go by.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Today I was hoping to find 8 geocaches. I only DNFed (Did Not Find) one of them. The whole walk was incredibly pleasant, and luckily for me, in the shade the whole time.

A couple of the caches were devils to find. My favourite was this little pretend bolt, hidden underneath a stile:

Look at me: braving the high boardwalk to the stile.

And of course, there was a fake rock (that looks identical to every other fake rock in the world)

I was walking along shady bridleways and many of the online logs mention being passed by horses. And indeed, there were quite a few horses grazing in nearby paddocks. But as you know that I am incapable of photographing anything that moves, here is a picture of horse dung as proof:

It was a good walk and enjoyable. But by the end I was both overheating and shattered. I could not have gone much slower without standing still. So half of this sign at the end of the day did not apply to me.

But the bottom half… That was probably never so true.

I fell into the car.

The Old Trout grunted.

We returned to the campsite.

And that is what I did on the penultimate day of this year’s Juneathon.

Day 29 – an 8 cache walk

Steps Taken – 10,471

The Old Trout saves the day, again – Juneathon 2018, Day 28

I was all set to head out for a walk today. Really, I was. A roughly 2.5km wander along an old railway line. But I felt extremely groggy this morning and informed the Old Trout that she did not have to get up and chauffeur me anywhere.

Instead, I worked on my crocheting again and moved my chair every so often so that I wasn’t in the blazingly hot sun.

Here you can see how I’ve been crocheting the hexagons together. I join 4 together with single crochet. When I have 4 groups of 4 they then get crocheted together in the same way. That makes 16 flower motifs in total, which is the length of the blanket. Only another 32 to go!

Unfortunately at that point I had a seizure and fell off my chair.

The Old Trout did her bit to make me comfortable. I have more seizures when she’s around. But that’s because I get more tired because I can do more when she’s with me. I live alone and when I feel ill normally I stay at home and lounge about. Having a schizophrenic episode whilst out by yourself is horrendous. But when I’m with my mum, even when I feel a little ill, we can head out in the car. I can scream, or be anxious, or paranoid without worrying anyone. She’s there to calm me down so that the rest of the day can be a good one. And it was the case again today that having someone there made all the difference: because she was sitting beside me, acting reasonably nonchalantly, even though her daughter was thrashing about on the grass. I didn’t worry any fellow campers. They could see she was fine with the situation. And that made it easier for them too.

I’m glad I made the decision to not head out into the wild blue yonder today. But it did leave me wondering how I was going to fulfill my Juneathon requirement of actual exercise. I’m not like some of the Juneathoners out there who seem to think that running in this sweltering heat is a bit of a lark. In the end I resorted to walking around the campsite. Twice. Yes, everybody is now wondering if I was trying to size up their gaff. I probably have neighbours armed with newspapers to ward me off if I dare trip over their tow bars, or look sideways at their calor gas bottles again.

And then a fortuitous piece of luck blew my way. Actually, it blew away from me, but let’s not get stuck in pesky details.

There was a couple who arrived and tried to erect a large dome tent. I could see that they hadn’t a clue what they were doing. But I only stepped in when the wind whipped the thing out of their hands and into a nearby tree. I know a thing or two about erecting tents, having spent a misspent youth traipsing the Highlands of Scotland with a tent in tow. Once you’ve dealt with gale force winds on the Isle of Skye, a slight breeze in Dorset is nothing.

The tent was erected in a couple of shakes of a lamb’s tail. I’m not entirely certain they were thankful. But the Old Trout informs me that they were impressed by my tent erection skills. Oh, and that they were more amused by the whole escapade than anything else.

Day 28 – Daily step count reached, tent erected

Step Count – 5,479

Still here – Juneathon 2018, Day 27

Well, I’m still here doing my Juneathon exercising. It may not be much, but it’s enough for me.

As I emerged from the tent this morning, my legs felt leaden. So that proves that I must have worked them hard enough yesterday. Right? It was one of those mornings when even the campsite daisies were too tall to lift my legs up and over.

It was hot again today.

The Old Trout and I went in search of shade and some more geocaches. I’m afraid that I need more sleep than I’ve been getting in the campsite. The sun has been waking us too early in the mornings. I was flouncing around today like a bear with a hangover. We finally found some shade and I had a bit of a kip before getting on with sticking my hands into hedges full of stinging nettles.

There is a cache there. Thank goodness for our sticks. Saves my hands from being stung too much.

See! It’s that green pot.

So, my exercise for today was racking up as many steps as possible, without screaming too loudly at anyone. I succeeded at this reasonably well, considering.

It does help that the countryside around here, be it Dorset, Hampshire or wherever, is very pretty and pleasant to bimble through in the Old Trout’s air conditioned car 😎

Day 27 – daily step goal reached

Steps Taken – 4,944

2,000th cache – Juneathon 2018, Day 26

I did it!

Today I found my 2,000th geocache. We chose this one purposefully as swimming was involved. It also had a terrain rating of 5. That’s the most difficult terrain rating a cache can have. If you were to walk to a cache on the summit of Mount Everest it would have the same terrain rating.

But, to be fair, not only was swimming possibly on the cards, we also had to walk from Dorset to Hampshire to get there. It was a tough old walk…

On this baking hot day (possibly the hottest of the year again) the Old Trout and I found ourselves walking in dappled shade along an old railway line. We walked the full distance of 200ish metres from where the car was parked and soon arrived where we could slip comfortably into the river.

I did a quick reconoiter first. The Old Trout remained where I’d placed her – directly above the container. It was allegedly underneath the bridge. Hence the possible need for swimming.

Very soon we were both splashing about in the river and searching underneath the bridge. It was the Old Trout who spotted the film canister perched on a relatively low ledge.

I doubt that the cache survives the river in spate. The Cache Owner (C. O.) must keep replacing it. That’s the thing with rivers: they can be deadly in winter. Hence the high terrain rating. But on a hot summer’s day like today, it was easy peasy. Far easier than I’d imagined.

After getting that over and done with, I continued my Juneathon excercise by walking upstream, against the current, until I got to a point where I could float merrily back down. There was one part where I would pick up speed and zoom along with the current.

“Weeeeeeeeeeee!” it was so much fun that I forgot how tired my legs were getting trying to make my way back upstream. I can now currently not walk properly. My legs are refusing to do anything else today.

Meanwhile, the Old Trout was sitting in the shallows, burbling at dozens of tiny fish that were encountering her bottom as they tried swimming upstream.

There were also more dragonflies today. But they’re far too flighty for me to be able to photograph. This caterpillar nearly made a clean getaway before I could take a snap too. That’s how useless I am at getting pictures of moving objects.

This picture is rather like a “spot the ball” competition. There were loads of large fish as well as the tiddlers. And whilst near the bridge we could see them easily. But could I get a reasonable photo? Of course not.

It was an amazing day.

Hopefully the sun will soon disappear behind the trees at our campsite so that I can get into the tent without melting. I’m tired.

Day 26 – a short walk, a short swim and lots of leg resistance work.

Steps taken – 5,121

10 caches – Juneathon 2018, Day 25

The Old Trout and I left the campsite this morning with one aim: to find 10 geocaches. No more, and no less.

Geocaching is a hobby that indulges those of us who enjoy statistics. Yes, we find little plastic boxes hidden all over the country. But once you delve further in to the game you can find yourself excited about how many you’ve found, how many “large” geocaches you’ve found, whether you’ve discovered a cache starting with every letter of the alphabet… The list is endless and allows everyone to aim for their own goals.

I started Geocaching in May 2011 and in October 2013 I celebrated finding my 1,000th cache in North Wales. Unfortunately I had a few “lean years” where ill health stopped me from finding many caches. But the magic milestone of 2,000 finds is finally in sight.

Our purpose today was to find 10 easy caches so that I ended the day on 1,999. Tomorrow we’re going for the biggie.

And find them we did. Most appeared to revolve around telephone boxes.

The Old Trout went in search of the first. She soon spotted it, but it was perched above the top hinge. For someone who can’t physically lift their arms above their shoulders, this was a physical impossibility. I soon had her beckoning me with her Trout pout through the glass.

The day wore on and we wore ourselves out. But one highlight of the day was spotting something I’d never seen before: mistletoe. There was a long avenue of lime trees leading away from a stately home. We were there to collect one of our 10 caches. In the description it mentioned that the trees were awash with mistletoe.

I didn’t get a good picture, but there it is in the centre of the one showing lots of leaves. The mistletoe leaves are slightly darker and have twisting branches.

That is part of the hobby I love: tripping over unexpected and new things.

Before we knew it, we’d found our 10 caches. I decided that it was high time I went for a swim. We’ve been camping for a week and I hadn’t had a sniff of a swim. It’s also bloomin’ hot. I nearly burst into flames a couple of times today.

The Old Trout agreed, and after a couple of false starts we finally found somewhere I could plunge into the river.

Oh that felt so good!

I swam up and down, and then I floated down, did some bobbing about and some dragonfly observation. It was just what I needed.

And that was my exercise for this swelteringly hot Juneathon day.

Day 25 – walked a lot, swam a bit

Steps Taken – 9,952

A day at the campsite – Juneathon 2018, Day 24

Yesterday’s blog was a little short. I had a seizure and decided that I was exceptionally tired. But I was determined to write something for Juneathon. Unbeknown to me, I was in a mildly catatonic state between seizures. Another occurred virtually as soon as I finished writing. So, sorry to anyone who read what was an incredibly lacklustre piece of writing.

Today the Old Trout decided that we’d have a day off from geocaching. I don’t know who she thought needed a rest more: myself after thrashing about uncontrollably for a few minutes, or her after I hurt her already incredibly sore shoulders, whilst she tried to stop me from bashing the tent to pieces.

It doesn’t really matter. We both just needed a rest.

It was hot today. I spent most of the time like a vampire: trying to hide from the sun.

And crocheting. Always crocheting.

That meant that I hadn’t accomplished many steps. I tried to make them up by walking to the toilet block and back. But I think I may be too dehydrated for that to work today.

Instead, I dragged the Old Trout along the short, dog walking path in the campsite with promises of a cool, sheltered woodland walk. I also informed her that she’d be as stiff as a brick tomorrow if she didn’t do something.

That did the trick.

And because I refused to walk aimlessly around this campsite any more today, I decided to add 20 kneeling push ups to the day’s efforts instead. I think that’s reasonable.

By the way, the doctors think that the seizures I’ve been suffering from for the last couple of years are non-epileptic seizures. They’re probably caused by my schizophrenia as opposed to epilepsy. Thankfully I don’t become unconscious and do have a little warning. But after that I flail about on the floor uncontrollably for a few minutes. The main problem is how utterly bone tired I then feel. Last night was no exception.

Unlike epilepsy, my brain’s electrical connections aren’t misfiring and it isn’t causing any form of neurological damage. It is however very real and something that I can’t control. Medications to stop seizures won’t help. But unlike epeleptic seizures, I have a very real chance that one day they’ll stop and never return. Here’s hoping.

Day 24 – Reached daily step goal, 20 push ups

Steps Taken – 3,434