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?