Saturday, January 16, 2021

Exercise is oh so boring

We are told repeatedly that exercise is good for us but the problem with exercise is that it is so boring. Keeping up an exercise routine is, or has been for me, almost impossible. I would much rather do other things.

However, three years ago I bought a pair of decent walking sandals when I was in Europe which made walking so much more comfortable. I walked everywhere and returned feeling so much healthier that I decided to try to keep walking. I discovered the only way I could make walking a regular thing was to start walking before I was fully awake. By the time I woke up I was already a block away from home and it was easier to keep going.

I walked 20-25 minutes to the beach and back, long enough to make a difference but not long enough to get too boring. I did often miss days, I confess. But I kept walking when I moved to Carlton and then when I arrived in Arncliffe. I live on a hill in Arncliffe and any walk means going down the hill and up again. Very different from the Umina flatlands.

My walk nowadays takes me about 20 minutes and I have become so used to it I walk every day without thinking. I walk to the lookout over the airport to take a morning photo. I send it to a still slumbering friend who likes getting a weather report.

Winter morning airport lights.

Then I walk down the steps to the bottom of the hill and up again past the house with the yellow flowering bush (last post)

I discovered the other day just how beneficial these walks are. In 2019 I was told that my blood pressure was bordering on the problematic and if it continued to increase I should be on medication. Last week when I had a check up I rather reluctantly reminded the doctor to check my blood pressure.

He looked at his notes and commented, “Oh, its more than a year since you were checked. You have been avoiding me I think because you don't want to take pills!”

He was half way through a lecture about pills being necessary when he paused to take my blood pressure.

Pump pump pump. Then pause. Then pishhhh as the air escapes.

“Oh,” he said checking the measuring gizmo. “Your blood pressure has dropped 10 points!”

He didn't continue the lecture. 


Botany Bay in summer

Ship leaving Botany Bay

Friday, January 01, 2021

Garden rescue in covid times

I have lived here over a year now. When I arrived the garden was lawn and the patch of ground between fence and path was weeds. 

Early very morning I walked down the hill and back up. At the bottom of the hill I discovered a pretty garden with a yellow-flowered bush growing right over the path. When I saw the house occupant there one morning I asked if I could take a slip. She turned out to be an avid gardener and said: 

"Why yes, take a big piece, or several, so it grows. It will grow in difficult ground so councils plant it. It is a type of Lantana, but not the one that takes over."

So I took slips and stuck them in pots over summer to see if they would take. 

They all survived and I planted them in the inhospitable soil between fence and path. They are thriving there and now I have yellow flowers right along the fence. 

On the other side of the fence the lawn is slowly being replaced by flowering plants, two blueberry bushes and  last week, a rhubarb plant. Gardens are a marvelous tonic in Covid times.

(The bush in the photo is a Hibiscus, the only plant in the garden when I arrived.)