Thursday, 27 October 2016

Getting Fit Again After Cancer

As you can imagine 8 months of treatment and then 7 weeks in hospital, most of them feeling pretty rough is not a good way to retain fitness. Colin came out of hospital on September 20th feeling very weak and he spent the first two weeks at home mainly sitting about and sleeping. To begin with even walking round our (very small) garden made his legs ache. Gradually over the last couple of weeks his energy has returned and he feels ready to get fit again.

As advised by  the cancer nurse specialist we asked Macmillan Cancer Care about local gyms that specialize in rehabilitation for cancer patients but found  you still have to pay. Then the lady told us about free sessions run at the hospital which quite frankly sounded so silly  that I think Col is going to stick to walking at least for the time being because he may need some help later building arm muscles.

A car boot sale and then up and down the road  was the first step. Then on the UK Runners and Walkers website you can find out how far you've walked and being in town it's easy just to add a little bit extra each day by taking a different road around the estate. After just 4 days of regular short walks he was able to come with me to Aldi and back, that's just under a mile, not much but a good start.

My fitness levels have also dropped  since moving to town and when I had the awful back and leg pains a few weeks ago I got a bit worried. The doctor told me to refer myself to physio, so I did and they gave me some more exercises for hip movement to add to the ones I already do to help my back. So with these exercises and walking with Colin, I hope by the time we move we'll both be fit again and ready to explore the footpaths round our new home.

Back  at the end of the week

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Long Live Great Bardfield - Review

Thanks to Persephone for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Eileen 'Tirzah' Garwood was born in 1908 and from  1925-8 she went to the Eastbourne School of Art where she was taught wood engraving by Eric Ravilious who she married in 1930.
She began this biography whilst recovering from breast cancer, looking back at her childhood and teenage years and then their life among some of the artists of the time who gravitated away from cities to live in Great Bardfield, and neighbouring Essex villages. Much of the book focuses on the love life of the various couples who seem to fall in and out of love with other members of the group all the time.
Her descriptions of all the people - friends, family, villagers are so good, as are the details of the places she visits with Eric when he is commissioned to paint landscapes or murals. Of Morecombe she writes" We should have to wait a whole week in this sad town that was only meant for visitors in the proper seasons; now it lay like a sluttish prostitute who hadn't yet bothered to get out of bed and paint her face". 
Eric and Tirzah had their first son - John- in 1935 and from that time Tirzah did very little in the way of wood prints or painting as she struggled to look after the children, James arrived in 1939 and Anne in 1941 and to keep house - often in very primitive conditions.
When war broke out Eric became an official war artist and was lost presumed dead while on a plane journey over Iceland in 1942. At the same time she was diagnosed with breast cancer and began an informal biography for her future grandchildren while recovering. The biography finishes in 1943 and the story of the rest of her life is told through letters and memories by her daughter Anne. Tirzah married Henry Swanzy, a BBC producer in 1946 and died when her cancer spread in 1951
The book is illustrated with black and white photos and Tirzah's engravings.

I enjoyed this book although there are so many people mentioned throughout  that I sometimes took a while to work out who was who!

It was only previously published in a limited edition hardback in 2012, so well done to Persephone Books for bringing it to a wider audience.

Back Soonish

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Mushrooms and Apples

Colin decided he felt well enough to walk around a boot sale so we popped along to a regular Sunday one a few miles out of town - It will be our nearest once we move.
Everybody wanted silly prices for the few things I asked about so all I left with was a box of mushrooms for £1. We came back a different way and passed through a village with lots of orchards and bought  a big bag of Cox apples for 50p. Then home for a coffee.
 Mushroom soup anyone?

Thank you for all the comments last time and for the many new followers

If it was a follower competition then I think Sue at Our New Life in the Country won with John at Going Gently second and I rolled in a miserable 3rd. But as it wasn't a competition I'm not bitter!!

Back Soon