Most mornings recently, after lying around and doing my social and other media trolls, I have been heading off to the beach to walk on the sand. Now I know that those of you in Prague, especially, will probably say ‘oh what a drag for you’, but actually it is really blimmin’ hard work, as I am doing what my physio asked, and that is walking barefoot for as long as possible in quite deep sand in order to strengthen my knee muscles. When he first suggested this I said, gaily, that I could do it ‘standing on my head’ (not literally, another of our weird English expressions….) because it sounded so easy. And it is not at all!! After about 20 minutes I am dripping with sweat and in a state of collapse, which is not great when you consider that I then have to walk all the way back up our hill to get home.
It also involves quite a lot of concentration, which is not always my strongest point, especially when I have my phone in my hand! The other day, whilst chatting away at the same time as walking, not only did I go straight past my friends setting up camp on the beach for the morning, but I also continued right into the sea since I had got to a part where the tide had come in further – and it was only because it was freezing and made me jump that I avoided becoming a first line of a thriller – you know the ones where a man (it is usually a man (at this point Jan will probably say that that’s because a lot of men live with women!)) was last seen walking out into the sea and either pitches up some time later with a new identity, or turns into a nutcase and becomes a serial killer or similar… I know. I have a funny taste in books…!
The other reason why I am doing the sand walking as well as my usual training regimes, is that I have been putting on a bit of weight over the last few weeks – to say that that has incensed me, would be an understatement, but those of you that have read my earlier blogs will know that this is one of my lifelong battles. Actually I read an article the other morning in the Czech media that said that according to a recent survey, something like 60% of people asked said that they had gained weight during lockdown (plus there was a lot of talk about various psychological problems and addictions caused by it), and I am not surprised. It is just so difficult to stay disciplined day after day, especially when there is not a lot to do – in fact, against my better judgement, I decided to try one of those ‘fasting’ diets for a while (the one where you have eight hours of eating and 16 of fasting, on the basis that if I stayed in bed for long enough and then went walking and training, the sixteen hours of fasting would be easy. So it was, but by the time they were over, I was so hungry that I had to eat everything I could lay my hands on for the other eight hours and in only four days I managed to put on a kilo. Great. I know, of course, (and I can hear Vlad the Impaler in my ear as I speak) that at the end of the day it is all about calories in and calories out, and it doesn’t really matter when they go in.. just that more go out. For me, though, being a ‘woman of a certain age’, I either have to eat dust all day and exercise hard, or eat a bit more and/or exercise even harder. So here we are, back to the dust.
The other way to avoid eating is, of course, to keep away from any source of food or drink, so whilst we are able, we are keeping on the move for a good part of the day. Just now we are unable to go outside Marbella (yup, Spain has got on the ‘making up individual (and, in my opinion, daft) rules on a regular basis’ bandwagon), so pretty much every time we get into the car we see loads of police; this has been even more the case in the last couple of days as there was a murder in the next town along from us during the week, so cars are being stopped all the time (apparently they are looking for a tall, blonde guy, possibly English, and since there aren’t a lot of those around here (tall, blonde or English), hopefully they will find him soon!). Still on the ‘Costa del Crime’ theme, we were chatting to the girlfriend of another house owner by the pueblo pool just today (sorry, yes, it is warm enough to lie by the pool!), who, whilst we were discussing running, said that she doesn’t like running up or down our hill, and I commiserated. However, it has nothing to do with the impact on her knees (as it is in my case) but more because, she said, she was nearly kidnapped last time she ran up it. She actually said it quite normally, as if people get kidnapped around here all the time (although.. maybe they do, we just don’t know about all of this excitement!), but, anyway, it seems that a car with some dodgy-looking characters inside followed her up the hill and then parked just around the corner and lay in wait for her – she, in the meantime, had called her [Columbian] boyfriend who arrived by the car at the same time that she did, so they legged it…. Well. It seems that all of those days of walking to and from the supermarket every day may not have been as safe as I thought (although, to be fair, I am probably less saleable on the ‘white woman slave trade’ market than her).
Other than avoiding the police, kidnappers and tall blonde killers, we have been quite busy doing not a lot, although there has been some tennis for me, running for Jan, and a new sport of ‘counting the cars passing under the motorway bridge’ on our evening walks, on the basis that everywhere is closed from 6.00 pm, so we wonder where all those cars are going. We know how to enjoy ourselves.
I joke, of course, since despite the lockdown here being a lot easier than anywhere else (and a million miles from the lockdown earlier in the year) it is, nevertheless, getting a bit tedious, and for sure once the sun eventually cools down it will be a lot more, but so far we are managing to stay fairly cheerful. I therefore thought that the picture that I saw on Twitter this morning was apt, and a good way to sign off for now. More soon.