A little bit of pootling – Juneathon 2018, Day 15

I was feeling a bit better today, so pootled around the house. My main mission was to remove the clutter that has built up over the past few days whilst I’ve been unwell. I find it remarkable how I can somehow make every room untidy in a matter of a few short days, whilst I’ve been doing absolutely nothing.

Oh, and I had to make room for The Old Trout to fit in somewhere. I realised rather belatedly today that she seemed to be making a beeline for my house. I have lost a day somewhere. I thought I’d another 24 hours left to make things spick and span for her.

I don’t envy my mum. She is heading down to my house in South Wales so that we can jet off to Dorset for a holiday together. The distance from her home in Yorkshire to mine is roughly 300 miles. Except… the silly woman can never do things simply. Oh no. Instead, she has travelled to mine via her mum’s house in Sudbury, Suffolk. The Old Trout has been lounging at Gran’s for the last few days.
You really might start to feel sorry for her when I tell you that a few years ago she was doing the following round trip: Sudbury to see my grandparents, South Wales for my sister and then Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland to see me. But don’t feel sorry for her. I blame the old biddy for bringing up two stubborn girls, who decided to well and truly fly the nest when they were old enough.

All of the pootling resulted in doubling my daily step goal. I also managed to make enough room for her bags. Perhaps not quite enough room for her the woman herself. But we’re jetting off in a couple of days. She’ll just have to squidge in for the moment.

2018 06 African Flower blanket

As I haven’t really done anything to take a photo of today and you certainly don’t want a picture of the Old Trout, here is how far I’ve got with my African Flower blanket. In previous blogs I’ve posted photos of partial motifs or a couple of flowers crocheted together. But I wanted to prove to you that they weren’t just the same small bits of crochet, just photographed from different angles.
It really is beginning to look like a blanket. Currently it measures 16 x 12 hexagons. But my aim is to add another 4 rows to the side to make it square. And then it will be large enough to cover a double bed.

It has taken over a year to get this far. Each motif takes roughly two hours to crochet, weave in the ends, crochet into place and then weave in those ends. I’m not sure how many skeins of yarn it’s taken, and how much it’s cost me to make. And erm… I’ll admit it now: I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Essentially it’s doing the job I intended it to do: it’s busywork. When I’m on the bus it gives me something to do. When I’m waiting for an appointment it calms my nerves. When I’m mentally unwell enough to do anything else, I can pick up my crochet and feel that if I at least get a flower finished then I have done something for the day. So perhaps it doesn’t need to have another purpose. It’s just what it is.

I warn you now. There will probably be a dearth of anything resembling an exercise blog for the next couple of days. I will be packing. And packing and I don’t mix. I get far too stressed and unwell. Sanity unravels when I’m trying to pack. The last thing I will be able to do is head outside for some exercise.
But perhaps this time will be better. The last time I tried packing for a holiday I could hardly move. That does tend to hamper things somewhat.
*Fingers crossed* that this time it will go smoothly.

Day 15 – Doubled daily step goal
Steps taken – 7,215


Some discoveries – Juneathon 2018, Day 10

June has, so far, been a lovely month of bright sunshine for us in Swansea. Unfortunately The Old Trout has been suffering from haar the entire time I’ve been sunning myself. No, that isn’t some kind of nasty disease. It’s thick sea fog that often coats the North East coastline at this time of year.

Day 10 01
But, as it was another sunny day here today, I took the opportunity to bimble about in my garden. I did some crocheting. The first time that I mentioned this African Flower Hexagon blanket was during the middle of last Juneathon. By then I’d completed 33 hexagons. As of today that count reached 198. I’ve only another 58 to go. I’ve found that I love crocheting with bright yarn. Looking down and seeing the colour shine back at me always brightens my day.

Day 10 04
Another thing that brightened my day today were a couple of discoveries. I discovered that my Jasmine is finally flowering. It’s only a single flower. But I’ve been quite concerned about the state of the bush’s health since I was forced to cut it back last year. It really didn’t like that.

Day 10 03
And this Lacy phacelia, or Tansy, is the other discovery that I made. I try to attract wildlife to my garden. Last year I bought some wild flower seeds that did absolutely nothing. But I persevered and this year’s sprinkling has given me this fantastic little flower. Hopefully the bees will like it as much as I do.

Day 10 02
You might be wondering why all of this is on my exercise blog. (Well you’re not if you’ve read a few of these. You know that I’ll blether on about anything) Well, as far as I’m concerned: if I’ve managed to get myself out of bed and am doing something physical, then it counts as exercising.
After all of the little bits of pottering I did in the garden today I’d completed 2,000 steps of my daily step goal.

And after the scorching sun lost a bit of its heat, I went for a quick walk to the beach and back. Today I decided to take a detour through Victoria Park where the flowers are normally fantastic. But today two other things caught my eye:

Day 10 06

The bowling green with its pristine lawn and clean lines.

Day 10 05
And this amazing array of different greens heaped upon one another.

As you can probably tell. It was a good day mentally.

Day 10 – Gardening, 1.3 mile walk
Steps Taken – 6,466

Janathon 2018, Day 24 – Nothing to report

I was finding that it was a bit difficult to breathe today, so I didn’t fancy exerting myself. Instead I dragged a fan from the backwaters of the Old Trout’s bedroom and stuck it so that it blew into my face.

Today’s Janathon activities include driving mum spare by walking up and down the house until I reached my daily step count and 20 kneeling push ups for good measure.

As you can see, my yarn arrived today. Crocheting will now recommence in earnest. I am roughly halfway through a double-bed sized rainbow flower blanket. So far it’s taken months. My patience is beginning to wear thin with working the same pattern and colours constantly. That’s why I got a couple of extra colours in my order. No, really… I didn’t just buy them because they were pretty. They’ll be good for breaking up the monotony. Thus allowing me to gain extra vigour for my blanket so that I can finish it faster.

Yes… okay. I just bought them because they were pretty 😒

Nothing to report Day: reached daily step goal, 20 kneeling push ups

Steps taken: 3,623

Difficulty Level: medium

Janathon 2018, Day 23 – Sleep Day

Some days I have to sleep all day. I get very cranky if I don’t sleep. I’m not just talking about being irritable. I’m talking Incredible Hulk style cranky. One moment I’m ripping doors off walls, the next I’ve fallen asleep where I lay.

No, irritable is how I felt last night when I couldn’t find my spare rainbow yarn ball and I couldn’t carry on crocheting.

It’s not a full sleep day today. I emerged from the covers at roughly midday to be told by the Old Trout that she was heading out to Asda to buy a squeezy marmite pot. It’s apparently going to turn into a geocaching container. I took the opportunity to drag us around the nearby B&M as well, in order to satiate my need for yarn.

We headed out. I completed my daily step goal whilst walking down the final aisle of B&M. Unlike yesterday, I didn’t cheer when that happened. That’s because I was in charge of the trolley and I am incapable of steering and cheering simultaneously without bad things happening.

That’s the pretty yarn I bought.

Mum couldn’t find any squeezy marmite in Asda.

And I’ve been in bed asleep ever since we got home. Now I need to go back to sleep – which I feel I can do, having reached the magic 3,000 step mark.

Oh, one more thing before I go. The filter arrived for the washing machine today. I screwed it in and now I have officially fixed the filter problem that the Old Trout was having. 😊 See: I am an adult that can do adulty things. 😉

Sleep Day: Reached Step goal

Steps Taken: 3,667

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 10 – Train day

Well, I’ve done it!

I’ve reached today’s daily step goal. I might have looked like a loony wandering up and down a 10m stretch of Bristol Parkway’s #3 platform for 10 minutes, but I have completed 3,000 steps. I hope no one was too concerned by my antics.

Other than that, this journey has been uneventful and very quiet. I’m wondering if the rail strike on some lines today has stopped quite a few people from travelling altogether.

I love train journeys when they’re like this. The sun has even decided to shine, so the scenery is bright and cheerful. I nearly needn’t have brought my crochet wip (Work In Progress) with me.

Ach, who am I trying to kid?! 8 hours on a train without something like crochet to keep myself busy and I’d be bored rigid.

Please take note that my vivofit3 is on the counter in that photo. If I don’t take it off whilst crocheting I often discover that I’ve supposedly been going hell for leather on an elliptical for an hour or so. And the annoying thing is that it’ll not allow you to modify the amount of “steps” taken during the day through the app. Once they’re on there, those crocheting marathons are on there for life.

Have you guessed where I’m going yet and what I’m going to be doing? You’ll see tomorrow when I’ll hopefully be doing a little bit more than the bare minimum amount of exercise.

Train Day: reached daily step goal

Steps Taken: 3,431

Difficulty level: Easy

Juneathon 2017, Day 15 – A Crochet Day


African Flower Hexagons

As it was a nice day today I went out in the garden and did a little crochet. The photo above shows the five hexagons that I completed. So far I’ve made 33 of them. I’m hoping to have enough patience to make 225 and to make a square blanket. I don’t really know what size it’ll be; it doesn’t matter.
I started crocheting in earnest about 3 years ago when my muscles started to deteriorate. It gave me something that I was able to accomplish without too much mental or physical effort. And today I grabbed my crochet and headed outside because mentally I was incapable of anything else. After making a fair few of these little flowers I know precisely what I’m doing and how many stitches to make. As the hook flows through the work my mind is able to relax and forget about all of the things that are niggling away at me. The dark thoughts are banished into the dark recesses of my brain as if by magic. It feels good to crochet. And on a sunny day like today, crocheting in my safe little back garden is one of the best remedies for my mental illness that I can think of.


A wee fellow enjoying one of my poppies

Unfortunately, even after enjoying a very relaxing couple of hours in the garden, my schizophrenia was still having far too much fun inside my head.

Doing exercise for Juneathon is fine when I’m feeling well mentally, but it’s virtually impossible on days like these when my brain is trying to shut me down and the horrible thoughts are like a thick, dank fog hovering around my head:
“You’re useless! You’re fat! Nobody likes you! You’re dirty! You smell! Your family hates you! You don’t have any friends! What you wrote yesterday about shoes: that was stupid! You’re so stupid. You can’t even manage to put plates in the dishwasher! Other people don’t need a dishwasher. They wash things. They do things. They’re not lazy. You’re so lazy! You’re an embarrassment. No wonder no one ever wants to talk to you. Why would they ever want to talk to you? …”
On and on and on…

The last thing I wanted to do was to go out for a walk. But I couldn’t face anything else either. Walking will often drive the thoughts away, just as crocheting does. I suppose it’s the meditative, calm state that I get into when I’m doing either activity. Unfortunately dancing, yoga, lifting weight etc. just don’t have the same effect.

So, I compromised: today would have to just be a day when I reached my step goal and felt satisfied with it. But, I thought I’d try to do one better and go outside in order to reach my goal.
It took one walk up my street and then down a neighbouring street to reach 3,000 steps, whereupon I sighed with relief and scurried home.

A Crochet day: met daily step count
Steps Taken: 3,682
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Janathon 2017, Day 14 – A lunch date


As today’s exercise for Janathon I walked roughly 1.5 miles to and from my lunch date.


Today I had the delightful company of my niece and my sister. So it was a girly outing. It was our normal place to lunch – a “greasy spoon” type of cafe that I plucked up the courage to go to a few years ago when I heard good reports about it. It’s great to take my niece and nephew into because I don’t feel worried that any accidentally spilled baked bean will send fearsome scowls our way.

As you might have noticed from the picture above, I took my crochet with me. It helps to while away the time whilst I’m waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive. Today they were late, so I was glad I’d taken it with me.

There’s nothing more to report about today’s exercising. Tomorrow may be difficult because my niece is staying over, and the little cheeky miss runs me ragged. Hopefully some exercise will get done tomorrow.

And here’s a photo of the little madam.
We totally did not go into the ice-cream parlour after her mum left. I am not a naughty aunty.


A lunch date day: 1.5 miles
Steps Taken: 5,414
Difficulty Level: Medium