Tuesday, 28 April 2009
I have shed the 14lbs over 7 weeks by eating less and exercising more. Exercise so far has consisted of walking rather than driving to work most days (it's almost a 5 mile return trip), occasional slightly longer walks with my dog and some bicycle rides of 5-10 miles. Exercise gets bumped up this week though as I move into Phase 2!
My gym membership has been reactivated and I have been swimming. I'm not a strong/fast swimmer - it's more a case of moving whilst floating, and that movement doesn't come easily. It's takes maximum effort. It doesn't look pretty but those in the pool at the same time should take comfort from the fact that I do not displace as much water as I used to though. I start the gym workouts followed by swims this Wednesday and Friday and thereafter twice a week. I plan to ride my bicycle further and more often too.
There has been progess this week on another front as well. I reached the ripe old age of 63.
Monday, 20 April 2009
Here she is; Helen (pronounced Herren) Shangri Rahhhh ....
GoLite Shangri-La 1
Agnes is here too. Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad, who weighs in at 460g (plus a net bag at 15g). It should have been the lighter Mummy version (a minimised, Egyptian Mummy shape) but the on-line supplier sent the wrong one - a Rectangle; that's not an insulting description of the supplier, it's the shape of the pad. I had the option of returning it but my impatience won the day when I just had to try it out on my living room floor. I can live (for the time being) with the extra couple of ounces.
It takes a little more that a dozen big puffs (no sniggers at the back please) to get the pad into shape. Worryingly, then amusingly, it hisses slightly (like Gollum in the book) as your body changes positon on its surface. What a treat though - to move on to my side and not feel my hip touch the floor. Excellent. Impressive for the brief spell on the hard level floor of my living room. I'm hopeful it performs as well overnight on a less even pitch.
* Shangri-La 1. The shelter is supplied without guys but I prefer to use some front and rear so I have borrowed two from elsewhere. It came with six pegs but I have supplemented them with another three; two for my guy lines and one for the open door flap. The tops of the issued pegs are quite sharp, so they dig into the hand as they are pushed into the ground. I will be swopping them for another type of peg.
The poles inside the tent are 7' (feet) apart. The high point, inside at the front pole is 3' and at the rear pole 2', although the height can be adjusted somewhat by raising or lowering the poles - walking poles in my case. There is a 7' spread between the two front pegs and a 4' spread at rear. The tent's front flap, shown open in the photograph, can be sealed closed with what seems like a strong zip.
It's easy to fold the shelter and slide it into its small sack.
My Weight: 14-20 April -2lbs. Since 9 Mar (6 wks) -12lbs.
In case you noticed/wondered - that's a blackbird near the tent. It's pulling out a worm to take back to it's young, in their nest nearby.
Monday, 13 April 2009
My new boots are such beautiful looking objects, they wouldn't seem out of place, to my eye, on a mantelpiece. It would be tempting to keep them, unused and in pristine condition for that purpose. However, they were made for walking and that's what they have been doing. Not far though. On Saturday we wandered through Putnoe Wood and then on into North Bedfordshire.
Putnoe Wood, Bedford
Then on Sunday, we followed the bank of the River Great Ouse, upstream through Bedford.
River Great Ouse, Bedford
Properly christened, my boots rest now in the dark of my understairs cupboard with their tongues hanging out. Muddied, no mantelpiece for them now.
Monday, 6 April 2009
A feature of new boots, like many other things new, is that they tend to stand out, showing up the things around them as shabby. In this case my trousers. New trousers will have to wait though as I should like to try those on before buying them when I am a size smaller. I'll need a pair that don't clash with my new, flashy walking poles - Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Compact.
I have not used walking poles before but having read good things about them felt that I should like to give them a go. Having deliberated for ages about this model or that, I thought it was time to just go for it and the knowledgeable chap in the Outdoor Shop at Stony Stratford made the decision easier for me. With luck these will be just fine. A lighter, tougher model might follow, although I suspect I'll grow fond of the ones I now have and they'll become trusted friends. Alan Sloman (see link in right hand column) has his Wanda tent. If they graduate then I may have Piotr and Petra poles.
What else is new? Well my sleeping mat is. It's just that it hasn't arrived yet. I ordered and paid for a Big Agnes Clearview Pad but a UK dealer dashed my immediate hopes by refunding my money and saying sorry but they were out of stock - despite what it showed, and still shows, on their online store. Another one is on order elsewhere and I expect to receive it later this week. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have only slept on a foam mat before and I'm impatient to try out one of the lightweight inflatable mats. The Big Agnes Mummy seems to fit the bill for a Summer trek. Its 20" x 72" should accomodate me and its 2.5" depth should soak up some, hopefully all, of my hip pressure (I wish I could sleep on my back). The price of thirty something and a weight of 396g (14oz) sounds excellent too. A NeoAir has been suggested but that is not available yet and, perversely perhaps, I'd like to progress to that after experiencing a next-step-up in the evolutionary chain from my wide, fairly lightweight, thorn ripped, hard foam mat. The unnamed foam mat was never my friend but it was a quantum leap from a ground sheet.
Finally, for this post, I've been looking at images of Montane jackets and trousers. I have a Berghaus goretex jacket which I consider uneccessarily heavy for The Cleveland Way in the Summer. The Montane Litespeed Jacket and the Featherlite Waterproof Trousers, in the region of 170g each, look better than good. They may feature in a future Kit - Part 3.
Weight Watch: 31 Mar - 6 April -3lbs. Since 9 March (4 wks) -8 lbs.