Janathon 2018, Day 30 – My first swim of the year

I’m very happy tonight as I got to do one of my favourite things today: swimming.

The day started off with some geocaching maintenance. And some shouting.

I found myself stuck up a muddy bank armed with some WD40. The Old Trout was shouting instructions up at me. Further shouting ensued when I got caught on a prickly bush and became irritated. I hope no one was in any of the multiple nearby fields listening to us because we were both turning the air blue at one point. Irritation had got the better of both of us.

This is the geocache from where I was standing. It isn’t a simple traditional where you open a box to find a log to sign. There’s what’s called a field puzzle aspect to it. Essentially you have to solve a little puzzle out in the field in order to get the log.

The log is hidden in the right-hand tube. But there’s a padlock on the end to stop you from getting to it.

Attached to the left hand tube is a long piece of string with a magnet on the end. You have to use the magnet to fish in the left hand tube.

Fish well enough and you can catch this green bison tube which has a key inside; the key for the padlock on the other tube.

It should take a cacher a few minutes to work out all of the elements of the puzzle and how to solve it. Having never seen it before myself, I know that I was up there too long for my liking. I was standing on a bit of a slope and my calf muscles got quite a stretch. One which required some Ibuprofen afterwards.

(The WD40 was for the padlock, which got squirted liberally).

The Old Trout and I continued our drive around the countryside, periodically screeching to a halt as we nearly passed the layby we were meant to be stopping in for the next maintenance check.

Until it all went awry.

You see, I went up on to this footbridge to check one of our caches and I spotted the most stunning pool…

It looked deep enough to swim in…

And I just couldn’t help myself. The Old Trout took a little persuading. We hadn’t finished the arranged maintenance for the day you see. But I am a master of persuasion. I got my way. And I went swimming.

I love swimming. Yes, even in cold Yorkshire streams. Is that what they’re called up here? Well, if it’s a beck, a burn, a nant, or any other name, it doesn’t matter. I love swimming in bodies of water.

You get to see the world from a different perspective and feel the water surrounding you.

Yep. One very happy Janathoner here.

I probably expended more energy getting in and out of the water than I did swimming. But I had my few minutes splashing about. So it counts towards my exercise for today.

And then, because I’m not a master of persuasion at all, we carried on with the geocaching maintenance as I’d promised the Old Trout that I would.

For 3 more caches I sploshed out of the car and up to a cache. Yep, 3 times I peeled my soaking wet leggings off the bin bag I was sitting on and headed out into the cold to pick up a plastic box.

Here’s a photo of the last one, as proof that we did indeed continue until it got dark.

And as soggy and as cold as I was, I still think I got a great deal.

My first swim of the year Day: a swim, reached daily step goal.

Steps taken: 4,231

Difficulty Level: Easy


Janathon 2018, Day 29 – Nearly there…

Yesterday’s trip to Scarborough really wore me out mentally. I love going to events like that and chatting about my hobby, but it’s still quite a strain. As we were getting back into the car on the way home, my mind had already begun to race and to question the whole thing. Was I polite enough? Did I allow people to speak enough? Were my mannerisms over the top? Did I upset anyone… And so on. The two hours was replayed in my head constantly last night. I’ve come to the conclusion that everything went well enough. No one is going to come to shoot me for my misdemeanours. And yes, that’s what my head says after I talk to people: that I’ve done something wrong and that if the negative outweighs the positive then someone will come and get rid of me. It’s a good thing that I’m naturally gregarious and outgoing because otherwise I would probably be unable to punch through the fear and become a recluse.

So I was mentally worn out. And when you’re mentally worn out, It’s difficult to push yourself physically. I did nothing today except for a little bit of pottering. One thing I did was to start painting a magnetic key safe silver. It’s going to be a little geocaching container hidden behind a sign. As the sign itself is silver, I thought that I’d paint the key safe silver to blend in. And as a finishing touch I’ve made a decorative item out of filmo to glue on the top. Hopefully when people find it they’ll get a nice little surprise.

All of the pottering meant that I had got far closer to my daily step goal than I’d expected. Once again I was then spurred on to achieve it. Today I headed out for a short 10 minute walk to get that done.

Then came my attempt at a plank. I think I’m going to give up with them because I really can’t feel anything “going on”. The other day the Old Trout had a go. I could see that she was itching to. But neither of us knew if she’d manage because of the poor manouverability in her shoulders. There was probably an equal chance of her screaming in agony as even getting into the plank position. But she did it – she got down and held a plank for an entire 15 seconds. We were both flabbergasted. It was great. Not so great for me was the Old Trout declaring that her abs were sore. And for the next couple of days she’d periodically rub her sides saying “I can still feel that”. Hmph! I am not one to be outdone by my mother, but in this instance I shall be graceful and admit defeat. It’s probably got something to do with the fact that I was born with two left feet and am about as physically unaware of what my body is doing as anyone can be without getting mortally wounded; whereas my mother was so physically able in her early years that she went on to become a P.E. teacher of all ridiculous things!

Thank goodness Janathon is nearly over. I really need a day off from wittering on about nothing.

Nearly there Day: Reached daily step goal, 60 second plank

Steps Taken: 4,015

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 28 – Scarbados

Day 28 found me hobbling around sunny Scarbados (Scarborough) for the 2nd time in a month.

I’m sure that Scarborough is a very pleasant town, but during this trip we saw even less of it than last time. Today I walked the length of 3 streets to a Wetherspoons pub, ordered a half of “The Beast”, sat down and waited.

I’m pretty certain that I would have easily surpassed my daily step goal today had my fitness tracker not fallen off in the car. The problem with my vivofit3 is not that the clasp is loose, it’s that the strap irritates my wrist. I’m constantly having to move the watch from one wrist to another to ease the sore patches. It’s such a shame, because I didn’t have anywhere near the same amount of problems with the strap on the vivofit2.

And, as we were meant to be meeting people in the pub at 2pm I did feel a little lost without my watch at first.

The Old Trout kept grumbling as I asked her what the time was. I suppose that most people would if they were asked every 10 seconds though.

And here we all are: gathering to celebrate “Australia Day”. Please note the attention to detail, in that there wasn’t any.

This was an event held by local geocachers. Geocaching events happen every so often, when a geocacher can be bothered holding one. We meet up somewhere and natter about the little plastic boxes that we’ve found. It’s rather nice when that “somewhere” happens to be a warm pub.

And don’t ask me anything about “Australia Day.” That was a theme that our powers-that-be at Groundspeak decided we should celebrate. Rather like on New Year’s Day when we were awarded a digital souvenir for finding a cache, today we were awarded one for attending an Event.

Talking to relative strangers for a couple of hours wore me out mentally. (Even if I did fortify myself beforehand with The 6.2% Beast) I was in no fit state to do anything afterwards other than walk back to the car and collapse whilst The Old Trout drove us back home.

Scarbados Day: Reached daily step goal (really, I did)

Steps Taken: 2,323 (lies!)

Difficulty Level: medium

Janathon 2018, Day 25 – Look how far I’ve come

It’s not the best picture in the world, but that Ladies and Gentlemen is Loftus War Memorial. And that is where I strolled to tonight – with ease.

When I started this blog back in January 2015 I was suffering from severe muscle degeneration caused by medication I had been taking for years. Although I’ve always been overweight, I’d also been active and tried to remain as fit as possible whilst trying to cope with a quite severe mental illness. But the problems caused by statins left my muscles so weak that it was an effort to physically get out of bed, or to walk across a room. By the time I started the blog I had worked out what was causing the problem, but recovery has been slow.

Back in January 2015 I struggled to walk the length of 20 houses and back. I remember how much my knees ached and how difficult it was to put on clothes. Tonight I decided to try it again. There was no problem getting out of the door. I walked the length of the street and then I decided that I’d carry on for a bit. So I did.

That’s how I arrived at the war memorial a mile from mum’s house. And then I walked back, very happy with myself indeed.

In other news today which isn’t Janathon related: the Old Trout’s squeezy marmite pot turned up. This is the one that she’s turning into a geocaching container. Apparently the plan is to decant the marmite into a different container. That way there’ll be no time pressure with regards to finishing this yeasty delight.

But just look at that box!

There were other items in the box. Things like UHT milk and toilet rolls. But essentially my mother bought £25 worth of goods from Amazon Pantry in order to get a jar of marmite that wasn’t glass. A box that she couldn’t even lift!

Look How far I’ve come Day: 2 mile walk

Steps Taken: 7,023

Difficulty level: Easy

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 22 – Fake rock

The recent snow melted significantly overnight so I persuaded the Old Trout that we should head out today for a handful of unfound caches.

As usual we didn’t stray too far from the car in any one go. And it took until we were returning from the last find of the day before I heard the beep of my vivofit3 informing me that I’d reached my daily step goal. I gave out a big cheer. But rather than congratulate me, the Old Trout told me off for making her slip on a particularly skatey part of the path.

This is the location of the last cache. Or “Ground Zero” as it’s referred to if you’re a cacher. As you can see, it was still a little icy here. But the cache container was soon spotted in its location nestling neatly under the front leg of the stile.

It was a fake rock. The type that were initially produced to hide keys in, but are now used the world over as cache containers.

Unfortunately once you’ve seen one fake rock, you’ve seen them all. For some reason all fake rocks are identical. They must be made from exactly the same resin mould. There’s probably a single, gigantic Chinese factory churning out millions of these things an hour. Actually, thinking about it, it’s probably not a good idea to hide your spare door key in one of these things. If a burglar also happens to be a geocacher he’ll be able to spot the fake rock a mile away. Even if it’s hidden in a large rockery.

What was not fake today was my forearm plank. Once again the Old Trout timed me. I pushed my luck slightly, by asking her to tell me how many seconds I’d remained upright in 10 second increments. She kept forgetting. I think she must have been overwhelmed by how much I looked like a plank today.

Fake Rock Day: 62 second plank, reached step goal

Steps Taken: 4,342

Difficulty Level: Easy

Janathon 2018, Day 20 – A walk in the snow

Today I braved the snow and headed out along a 2 mile long bridleway called Loy Lane. We have 6 geocaches out along the lane. Because mum can’t walk very far, my sister and I take it in turns to check on some of the caches further away from roads when we’re up in the area.

Mum came with me for the first couple of caches and then drove around to pick me up from the last one.

As you can see, along the lane there are an assortment of containers. Some, like the 2p piece are tiny. It’s extremely difficult to find. The largest container in this little set is the one with the snakes. I added extra swag and gave it a good clean with some kitchen towels. The camouflaged container which hangs up in a tree had somehow lost its lid, so we had brought a replacement.

It’s all go if you’re a cache owner. The only cache which didn’t need to be fixed today was the little blue man. As you can see, he was happy enough in his little grotto out of the snow.

And that was my Janathon exercise for today: I spent an hour or so by myself, wandering along, taking photos and periodically fiddling with a geocache.


A walk in the snow Day: 2 mile walk

Steps Taken: 7,809

Difficulty Level: Easy