Sunday, 5 October 2014


l have taken up a strange new hobby called OCR. This little gem was found by accident and only did my first one in August. I am now on hold thanks to a strained Achilles tendon which l did walking of all things when Andy, Ann and l went out a few Sundays back for a gentle walk.

OCR stand for Obstacle Course Racing, have you heard of an event called Tough Mudder it was l thing among the first. Well there is now a plethora out there every weekend and l ended up with the group from the PT Studio where l train to get fit we went on the Total Warrior in the lake District on 1st August.

I hate running and very quickly moved to a walk but apart from the walls which l had no idea how to get over and figured l would hurt my self l did all the other obstacles. Swimming rivers and the dip in the although melted skip full of ice were cleansing but by god cold. The climb up death valley a vertical mud slope about 100ft high on cargo nets was ....interesting. The belly crawls under barbed wire through deep pits of mud were fun, the electric cables only gave me one shock on the hand on the way out, the slide with water running down it seemed 150 vertical foot of out of control slide and interesting but carrying logs up and down and up and down a hill was a killer as was crawling under cargo nets up a hill rolling logs.
So given all that l can say l honestly loved it, everyone was so friendly and helpful...runners and organisers the organisation was impressive from marshals to course layout and sign in on course, injured were ferried away fast by paramedics and 4wheel terrain buggies. (sizes may have been bigger or smaller l have no idea just it was steep and long and never shallow or short)

Time was very slow about 3hr 19mins but l did it all 10k of punishment and obstacles (99.9% of those). This not only did not put me off but has left me wanting more. l am booked onto 2 more races next year and wanted to do 2x night ones this year but my ankle threw a spanner into that so will do 2 nights next year.

I did my best to get into running for months before the event but no way around it l HATE loath and detest running. However l suddenly realised the other day that l did a tiny bit of cross country running at school and loved that, l was trying to get running on roads which l hate.
Now l am going nuts wanting to go make a start running and am not allowed. The physio finally passed me fit to do minor lower body exercises every other day...provided l am not in pain on my ankle post exercise or the next day  So l will start with squats and jogging on the spot and within a couple of weeks move on to CC.... getting excited feel like l am going somewhere.

I am not that crazy that l would do the race barefoot. I had the Inov8 Bare Grip 200. These are a 0" drop shoe designed for what is called minimalist running. They have cleats on that make tractor tyres look like skid pan treads where others were throwing themselves at mud hills trying to get up and sliding back down l looked at the shoes and said "Ok now do your magic" and l walked up those hills, not one time did l slide up or down due to bad grip, the water swooshed out as they are designed not to hold water and no mud gripped...l do not know how but the mud pings off and always leaves the cleats free not clogged up.

Andy is going to join me on the next OCR that l do next year so l have been ordering him a load of bits to help including a pair of Inov8 talons, these have a 6mm drop. Loads different to his present regular nike things.

Minimalist shoes are not something you just put on and go if you are used to shoes especially the normal padded running sort so Inov8 have a load of info on their site and how to transition but if you are into running they do on road (flat) and off road (cleated) shoes and more and more research is showing how minimalist and barefoot is much better as you strike different and do not get the shock that the padding never absorbs.

If you want to find out more about OCR and belong to facebook then do a search there  for a fantastic bunch called Obstacle course racing (UK.OCR)

And finally Pete Rees has Mudstacle full of help tips and videos on how to attack obstacles, equipment he and others have road tested and info on races and insurance for members and also money off races for members.

If you want to try something totally different try an OCR race, don't let age or skills put your off unless though you are confident on things like burpees  avoid spartan. in these if you do not do an obstacle fine but you have to do burpees as a penalty. The other races you just walk round the ones you do not want to do.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Logging In Problems

It has taken me since before l restarted on the 17th September to sort my account out out. Google have some weird tie in now and my other (normal) email couldn't be used to log in.
Took 2 days of swearing to sort that bit out including about 5 new email accounts to be able to actually log in. It was not explained in a user friendly way. Now several lost/unknown passwords and getting sent texts l finally have that part nailed down.....l hope!

Friday, 26 September 2014

How to Order a Meal!

Stopped at the Little Chef on the A34 just outside Oxford on the way home last night.

 Me...I would like the beefburger with cheese, bacon and garlic mayo BUT no bun and no chips instead l want a fried egg*

Her...Stares at me like l am from outer space and 3 heads (ok l was barefoot but she wasn't looking at my feet) No bun no chips?

Me... Correct a .... * (repeat order)

Her...But no bun and no chips (this is an alien concept for her)

Me.. correct, l am a T2 diabetic and potatoes, bread, pasta, rice puts my blood sugar up so l eat low carb high fat. (said slowly as waitress though nice is obviously not to bright)
Her... repeats order

Me... No beefburger *

Her... Would you like a baked potato with that

Me... NO just what l asked for T2 diabetic bloods remember

Her/Me... She repeats something by now sounds totally unlike my order but l talk over her repeating the order about 3 times.

She goes off and l hear her repeating something in the kitchen that again l think l mis hear but sure chicken is mentioned but l have bad hearing l know that.

Her.. Can l get you a drink?

Me... A cappuccino would be great thanks as weak as possibly if you can get one shot or less l would be happy.

Her... Placing meal before me with triumphant but rather dim smile proud to have managed such a hard order.

Me.... stare glumly at plate and loose will to live. 2 fried eggs (asked for 1) some lettuce and 2 small slices of tomato great some sort of mayo (not garlic) a breaded chicken slice not sent back there is no point so start to eat.

Her.... here's your drink l didn't put chocolate on as l KNOW that diabetics can not ever eat chocolate

Me... well actually l eat Lin...(my voice dies off l am already on a slippery slope l am not going to complicate it) ....ok thanks

Meal was ok but not what l wanted didn't tell them that life would have got more complicated.

I see that as l had a burger after 18:00 l get a free soft drink... well l am not going without.... Come to pay go collect my drink from fridge... l get a free one right l asked.
Ermmm yes l get a hesitant glance from her and followed by... the till won't accept it.
Que the manageress as vague but nice as her.... umm oh look cause you had no bread it wont accept the drink.... waitress. l think we put the 2 eggs there instead though.
They peer at computer poking it.
 Look l said getting a bit Alice in Wonderland. I am paying for a full burger aren't l
Oh yes 2x beaming smiles.
Ok l am having this you sort that later l have a long drive ahead.
No problem  we will do it as a normal pepsi max 2ltr ummm it doesn't have smaller 2 stare at computer.
I raise my eyes to heaven and mutter through clenched teeth....Try scroll up! Ohhh ummm 600ml? seems strange amount? It is 20% extra the only ones you carry l sigh and melt towards the floor Oh of course (2 big beaming smiles) I place my card press button, take my card and slip repress so they get their paperwork and place it back as the 2 biddys are staring at the computer trying to work out how to put in l had 2 eggs and no bread...l snuck out exhausted

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Police Needed

A couple of years ago in 2012 l was at a veterinary practice with a branch surgery, l was staying in the bungalow behind the surgery along with a locum vet.

One morning she said that a couple of times over the last couple of weeks she had been there, she had heard the sounds of someone trying to break into the branch surgery and was not sure what to do and she was very nervous.
I had slept through and not heard a thing, the bosses were puzzled and said best to call the police if she though someone was breaking in.
l told her look just wake me up l am very pissy when woken and will go deal with things ... come to that l am pissy in general so l will go see if you need to bother police or not as they have a lot on and to yank them off something important did not seem right. It was very strange there was no sign of break in attempts scratched locks or anything amiss l wondered if dogs were messing about or foxes?

2 nights later she woke me up with a loud stage whisper into my room "The noise's are back". I flung on my clothes and rang the police as l went storming round to the surgery in my usual foul temper on waking, as l stomped round l called 999. Needless to say they were not happy and insisted that l stay and they would send someone. I told them it would be more than a bit late as a van was pulling out onto the main road.

I bellowed and it stopped, l called the number, type and colour to police while the guy in it started to insist he should be there. I had a short altercation with him and  police control were going nuts asking what was going on. The vet was way back yelling to be careful and back away.
As usual l followed my own path and continued walking towards him having a few words with the driver along the lines of you are talking rubbish and updating the police.
Then he pulled his trump card..... He waved a key at me and paperwork and said he was legal, followed by the immortal line a movie script would have been proud of "I am the bodyman".

I relayed this info to police control who went into panic mode almost screaming at me to get away while l almost began hit my head with my hand and making a FFS comment everything coming together with a cymbal crash.

Look l will prove it he said throwing open the back door.
It is ok l told police control he has opened the back and l can see the bodies.
At which point l think the controller l was speaking too freaked into new year and l got a case of hysterical laughter at the whole fiasco and realised she wasn't veterinary...l explained between laughter that we are a vet practice he is collecting the bodies of patients and the clinical waste l checked.

I think l heard her sigh of relief and understanding from several miles away, the vet and l were laughing and the body man also joined in (a bit) before leaving.

About 30mins later a police car rolled up to check we were ok and took it in good heart, the bosses went bright red when informed of the nights going on and at not remembering the collection service who are key-holders, to be fair to them the practice has been there l think over 30 years so things become common place and not thought about.

The night of the "Body's" will long be a legend at the practice l fear judging by the body man's reaction when he saw me the other day for the first time in 2 years when he went to the main practice to do a day clinical waste collection and saw me...he chuckles about

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Menopause...Opps! maybe not.

I had been suffering since Brian passed with a building up of menopause but am a stubborn person that doesn't trust the medical profession especially with what Mum and Dad went through so l self treated. Fancy words for ignored it. After 3 years though things were getting out of control l had around 28 of 32 symptoms.

On our holiday in September last year 2013 when we went to Germany for a month in the motorhome with 3 days in Switzerland l have rather large blank spots, when we got back l was almost collapsing getting to the other side of the road and felt maybe better see the Dr.

After a few blood tests l was informed that l was a type2 diabetic, ahh well such is life, and l was to get my blood glucose under control or l would be going on insulin and l had "high" cholestrol.
I would be on Metformin 3xs a day for t2 and statins for cholestrol.

Well T2 not a problem will deal with it, cholestrol ok l will deal with it... statins shove up your... ok so l didn't say that but said no way on gods earth was l taking statins l did say that.

This resulted in a huge argument
"you will die"
"so l die"
you won't die you will live a vegatable and be a drain on your family"
"no l won't l have a living will"

While this was going on Andy (more about him in a different post but my new hub) is sitting next to me shaking in silent hysterical laughter. I glared at him, sadly he can be slow to take warning.
Then back to arguing with the dr.

After 5mins when he realised he was getting nowhere he gave up and we discussed my throat palpitations that were out of control... was actually the heart palpating but in my case l felt it in my throat. He arranged for me to wear a halter monitor for 24hrs and the readings showed a few minor problems so he arranged for the specialist.

It took about 5 weeks for me to see the diabetic nurse and in that time my bloods were thanks to my monitor and low carb high fat under tight control. The DN read my blood figures and decided l could come off one of the metformin. She didn't like my diet, tough nhs is dinosaurs no wonder so many folks have T2 muttered statins l was polite gave her all the reasons no and she backed off.

I saw the cardiac specialist in January and had ecg and pacing tests and echo, all were 100% and the palpitations had almost gone apart from when l got stressed. Glucose under control solved the problem.

The podiatrist that l saw l was worring about so l walked in and said... "I am a barefooter, have been for all my life apart from work when l wear crocs and the odd time out. My feet suffer in shoes and if you don't like it..l will go now."
Give her her due she said to sit and she would run tests if there was a problem we would tackle it. I got a clear bill of foot health, her direct phone number for any worries l had and told go and enjoy life, barefoot.

By february when l saw the diabetic nurse for my first Hba1c the blood test that checks 3 months back l was at 5.5 which is halfway in the normal people non diabetic range. Same again in June and  l am now on 1 metformin a day.

The sites l use for my diabetes and diet. Anyone diabetic out there (of any sort even prediabetic) look up DietDoctor first then head for the other 2 that is if you want to get yourself under control.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

So much going on in life l decided to make a restart on writing, not much about work more about how my life is going, and there has been so much going on it will take time to catch up on past and move forward on present.

Firstly though the sad news for me was my mum passed last year in April she was in a care home, a good one l want to add for all the bad things you hear there are many good. She is at peace now it was very strange each death, dad, Brian, mum twisted a little bit tighter on my emotions and memories but mums death especially heralded a new start in life by being the end of a life 3 tight knots unwound to fall gently away.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Peregrine Falcon & Wild Flowers

I wanted to give something to the sport in Brian's memory and also to pay back some of all they gave him in enjoyment and me in support since he passed.

So l settled on 2 very different plans, one will be ongoing for many years. Every year in September l do a seeding of wildflowers around the peritrack at Langar it covers about 3.5miles. l also seed along the runways.  I figure that it will add life for insects, birds and improve the area.
When we used to go for drives we always got excited to see wild flowers like poppies and a couple of fields we would drive past off the beaten track were always full of colour and we used to get all excited at how lovely they looked.
I get the seeds from the wild flower farm next door to Langar and the owner also Brian has been great, if l dont have tools handy l am able to borrow them from him and he is full of advice  Nature Scape This will be a slow ongoing project for a few years while they slowly take hold.

The second idea l asked the British parachute Association if l could donate a trophy but this was turned down so l approached Langar and asked them if l could donate one. They agreed and so l hunted round for an acceptable one.

I finally found Andrew Glasby and amazing bronze artist. He had many bronzes l fell in love with but l settled on one l loved but also more importantly l could afford Andrew Glasby Bronzes

It is a Peregrine Falcon's head, Brian always loved watching Birds of Prey Andrew mounted it on a block of wood for me and l then had that mounted on a specially commissioned Oak plinth. It looks amazing and is now used for the 6 Way  annual competition. The words Dream, Believe, Achieve are also on as it has become his mantra.