Caution: Old(er) Woman Running

It was Grandpa’s 80th birthday, so we invited the family round for cakes and scones. Those of you who remember that I am meant to be reducing my cholesterol levels, might be wondering how cakes and scones fit with this. But my mother told me to never answer questions like that.

To be fair, I have tried to increase my exercise, and I have started to run. Opposite our house is a big field, about 125 miles in circumference, and when I walk the dog, I now jog for some of it. It’s nicely remote, so no one can see me, and I started to run just a few paces, then walk to recover, then run a little further. I can now jog around 3/4 of the field, which I think is pretty good going. I won’t be entering the marathon, as other people might measure distances differently.

As soon as I start to run, the dog picks up a stick, and then trots in front of me, tail up, head forward, as if showing me that she thinks my speed is pathetic. When Son 2 is with me, I have to tell him I am jogging, otherwise he might just think I am doing a funny walk. There is not much discernible difference in speed between my walk and my run. In fact, the only real difference is my face goes very red, and stays that way for about 3 hours afterwards. I have no idea whether it’s making any difference to cholesterol levels.

My other news is that we have started work on the pond. It’s quite a large pond, and it’s under some large oak trees. The trees drop all their leaves into the pond, so the bottom was filling with silt, and the water was becoming ever more shallow. It was also eroding the edge, so was in danger of undermining the roots of the trees. We therefore decided to hire someone to move it. Which has turned out to be fairly major work.

Firstly, I had to catch all the ducks. This worked well with my aim to teach the duckling who was hatched by the chicken, that s/he’s a duck, and over the course of a week, I managed to catch all the ducks on the pond. They’re now in a cage, very unhappy but safe, and I spend lots of time cleaning them out and refilling water pots.

Yesterday the workmen arrived. They first had to dredge the pond, so removed the fence to make an easy access point, and began to pump out the water. They also had to move some plants that we hope to keep. A delivery of sleepers arrived, and these will make a wall on the side where the trees are, so it doesn’t erode in the future. The other edge will be natural, so it will be easy for the ducks to get in and out. They painted the grass to show where they plan to dig. The island had to be far enough from the edge to be safe from foxes, so they asked how far a fox can jump. They can, according to Google, jump 2m, so I’m hoping that’s an exaggeration or requires a run-up. I’m not sure how athletic the foxes around here are – more athletic than me, that’s for sure.

Today, a digger arrived, to dig out the rest of the pond. I had to shut the ‘outside cats’ in the workshop, as they won’t necessarily be helpful. The remaining chicken and cockerel are also still in a cage, so the fox can’t get them. Which means all my animals are caged, and I do not like animals in cages. I will let the hen go broody, so she has something to do, and then I will allow them out again in September, when any chicks she hatches will be big enough to be left. The ducks will be free in a couple of weeks I hope.

Hoping you have a healthy week.
Anne x

Anne E. Thompson is an author of several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in bookshops and on Amazon.
Thank you for reading.

A Low Cholesterol Diet…(sort of)

The low cholesterol diet is not going as planned. You may remember that the doctor (who I will never visit again) did some blood tests, and when I phoned for the results, they said my cholesterol was too high. Which was a major blow.

At first, I wondered if there was a mistake. I eat very little processed food, and have a fairly active life-style, and am not (I think) over weight for my age. So I decided to ignore it. But it did make me more aware, and I began to notice that I do eat rather a lot of chocolate, and cakes, and cheese sauce, and crisps, and so on. All of which are very high in saturated fat. The trouble is, everything that is nice seems to be high in saturated fat. But I decided to try and cut down, a little bit. So far, it’s not going very well.

I started by switching from semi-skimmed milk to skimmed (yes, I know that won’t make much difference, but I figured I would edge into healthy eating rather than give my metabolism a big shock and spiral down into depression because food had become awful overnight). This is fine for tea and coffee, but when I made a sauce for the cauliflower, it just seemed thin and horrid. So I added a dash of single cream that was left over from the lemon meringue pie. There wasn’t any lemon meringue pie left, because I’d already finished that.

I also tried having less cheese on my bolognese, so decided to grate a tiny amount to serve with dinner, and keep the rest in the fridge. But it was near the end of the block, so after I had grated a portion for the meals, there was only a tiny bit left. Not enough to be worth keeping. So I ate it.

Daughter did her best to help, and gave me some healthy snacks from M&S. They were surprisingly tasty. But Son told me that eating several packets at a time negated the low fat of each individual pack. I did though decide to buy them instead of crisps, for when I need a snack after a dog walk. I bought some from the supermarket (we don’t live near an M&S). They tasted like cardboard, so are now in the bin (not even the dog would eat them).

On the positive side, I find that if I don’t have any chocolate anywhere in the house, I eat less. Also, popcorn is a nice snack and will be healthy once I have gradually cut down the amount of salt and sugar I add. Porridge, made with skimmed milk, is not completely disgusting, and again, if I gradually cut down on the amount of sugar I add, it should be healthy.

To conclude, I’m not sure that I am presently eating less saturated fat than before, but I am more aware of it, and that has to be a good start. Plus, usually at Easter everyone gives me chocolate, and I would have eaten it all by now, and this year I received flowers and healthy snacks instead, so that must have made some difference. I will let you know how things progress.

Thank you for reading. Hope you have a healthy week. Take care.

Anne x

PS. Another learning point this week was whilst putting on make-up and chatting to Husband. I discovered that I tend to wave my hands around when chatting. I also discovered that ‘liquid eye-liner’ really IS liquid, and if you tip it upside-down it pours out onto the duvet. This does not wash off. I also discovered that if you turn stained duvet cover upside-down, Husband doesn’t notice. Or at least, he hasn’t so far…



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 Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can buy her books from book shops and Amazon. She lives in Kent, with her husband, several chickens and many ducks, plus a dog and a bunch of cats. She writes a weekly blog.



I know that some of my followers are also authors. I spent some time this week trying to find Christian publishers who accept submissions from authors. It took ages, so I wrote a post and included the links. Hopefully it will save you some time. The link to the page is below: