Settling into the new life

It was such a huge thing to do, both practically and emotionally, to move out of our old house that it is astonishing to find how quickly and easily we seem to be settling into our rental house and a different life.  When we planned this transition stage we thought we would use the period of living in a rental house to travel and to spend time with our children and grandchildren.  Covid 19 has put paid to that for the time being.  The world may open up again.  We are beginning to wonder whether we might get to France later this year for a holiday with some of our children and a visit to our friends who live in Provence.  Will it work? Who knows?  There may be vaccine passports or closed borders.  For the time being all that is still off limits so what to do right now?


We are visiting the building plot once a week.  The shape of the house is now clear and the whole plot is no longer a mud bath but ready for more building and soon an electricity connection.  That is the purpose of the nearly as high me wall: it will take the box when power arrives on site!  I could easily go every day but whether things move on or not depends on what else the builder is doing that week.  If he is working I suspect he would not appreciate my popping up every day.  If he is elsewhere there is nothing new to see.  So once a week is about right!

I have decided that my big commitment for the present is to improve my fitness.  Over two years ago I went through the demanding and hugely satisfying process of Couch to 5K, a programme which takes you from zero to running for thirty minutes without a break.  To my astonishment I loved it.  I was nowhere near to running 5k in half an hour when I had finished but I persevered and found I could run 5k in just under forty minutes.  I kept up the running and nearly a year ago now, just before lockdown, I ran the Chester 10k with Ian.  I ran it very slowly.  I will never be fast.  But at sixty five, never having been a runner in my life, I ran it.  Lockdown was hard on running.  I kept going over the spring and summer but over the last three months the combination of winter, moving house and general exhaustion knocked running on the head.  

So now that most of the boxes are unpacked and this is beginning to feel like home it is time to take stock.  I find I have put on half a stone over the last year.  I knew I had put weight on but I was trying not to engage with the fact because looking it in the eye would mean I had to do something about it.  But it is time to face facts: months of eating just a bit more (what other highlight is there to a lockdown day?) and drinking a bit more (ditto) and a shorter period of doing less exercise than usual have taken their toll.  It is easy to run from here just as it is easy to walk every day.  So I have decided to go back to running three times a week, to walk on the days I don't run and to try to gently cut down on food.  I love food and life is too short to make myself miserable but I can stop  having the extra slice of bread, the extra cheese in the evening, the extra glass of wine and I will.  I have started a food and exercise diary because that has helped me in the past.  We  will see where I get to in a month or so!

And we have had a few days of glorious sunshine which makes getting outside a pleasure not a penance.  On Friday I met a friend and in accordance with the new coronavirus rules here we walked outside and then sat on a bench in the churchyard and chatted.  The sun was warm on my shoulders.  The birds were whizzing past busily with nesting material.  It was good to talk and laugh and feel the warmth of the sun.  Maybe this long cold and lonely covid winter is on its way out at last!

And home to find Ian reassembling the little wooden lean to greenhouse.  I have put the box of seeds onto the kitchen windowsill.  Maybe I will sow something even though there is very little garden here.  I long to see our children and grandchildren with a deep ache which could overwhelm me if I didn't bash it down with running and reading and on line chat.  If I sow some seeds it will be another little stake in the future.  Where will we be when the first seeds sprout?  



Is the sun shining where you are?  What are you doing to look after yourself and keep spirits high?

Comments

  1. As health concerns have put the kibosh on my diet and drink as well, I am diving headlong into planning my gardening projects and meanwhile doing lots of crochet! I decided that since my job gives me half an hour of "lunch" time (worthless for that purpose) I will use that time to walk. Working five days a week, walking a half an hour each work day, that's two and a half hours of walking, which is two and a half hours more exercise than I would be getting if I didn't walk. I'm also replacing one meal a day with a raw fruit/veg smoothie. Congrats on your moving during this crazy time - you are brave indeed! Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to more updates!

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    1. Lots of crochet is an excellent lockdown strategy! I've started some knitting again for a change and I'm well into an Icelandic jumper. There is something very soothing about the repeated movements of knitting and crochet and I live seeing the finished garment emerge. I like your walking plan too! It's very good to hear from you. Take care.

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  2. Good to read Elizabeth.

    We've filled our time over the last eleven months with DIY projects - we've done a great deal. That's home ownership for you I guess.

    All now coming to an end, there's nothing left to do except day to day maintenance. Very much hoping we can put our caravan to use soon, it's been on axle strands with its cover on for the last 17 months.

    Best wishes.

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    1. I rather like the idea of axle strands. They would be specialist versions for use on the beach!

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  3. I too have been building, at my cottage in Pembrokeshire - in preparation for a full time move there this summer (I hope). It is frustrating being so 'stop and go' because of the lockdown - but it will get there in the end. We are a little more advanced with the build than you - and less ambitious (an extension more than a house) - the roof should go on next week. Long may this good weather last!

    Good luck with the fitness - we are having a 'saintly' March too!

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    1. I think the roof going on is pretty conclusive! Exciting to have the move to look forward to. My sister and brother in law are building too at the moment and have come across shortages of material from time to time. Whether that is Brexit or covid isn't entirely clear!

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  4. When your builder is working, I, would pop up every day. First time around, we would drop in at the weekend to garden (we were working full time). Second time we were retired, so checked each day. This time we renovated, while living at the 'other' end.

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    1. Ah thank you for the advice from a seasoned housebuilder! Think we certainly will when things are more advanced and there are lots of decisions to be made.

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  5. The building has come on more than I expected. Exciting.

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  6. Happy St David's Day!
    Lovely to read about your new home taking shape. When we moved from our family home of thirty five years our dream was to find a plot and build. We moved into a rental property, but sadly that special plot proved to be elusive and we negotiated to buy our rental house. One day...
    Looking forward to seeing how things develop.

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    1. Plots are not easy to find! It was sheer luck that we found ours and we bought it week before we were ready to sell our house so as not to lose it. Just serendipity that we chances to drive by, along a road we hardly ever used!

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  7. How exciting to see weekly progress! |I'm so glad for you that you have settled easily into your rental home. Like you I'm longing to see far-flung family and grandchildren but my propagator is full of germinating seeds and there are be many more to sow! Invest in the future - hope! maybe we are nearly there.

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    1. I think seed sowing is a bit magical. It combines the being in the moment with a sense of faith in the future as you say! I haven't done mine yet but I will!

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