Fit for life

As I get older I find myself becoming less active. Last year was a particular challenge – the building work over much of the summer kept me from gardening and then the subsequent wet months kept me indoors and whilst this meant I was very productive with my knitting and crochet, I was also very sedentary. How unfit I had become was brought home to me when I dashed out into the garden on a dry day to get some mulch down and do some other chores… and after half an hour I was flagging and red in the face.

Now, you can’t live your life to the full unless you have the energy and stamina to get on and do things. I know that I’m going to be busy in the garden this year and I don’t want this to be a trial because I am so unfit. Fortunately, it’s been a little drier over recent weeks and so we’ve been out walking the dogs a couple of miles most days, but I wanted to do something more… to get into the habit of exercising. I considered a variety of options, but I think my days of aerobics classes are long-gone and the prospect of visiting a gym fills me with dread.


All set!

So, my answer has been to start going swimming – it’s relatively gentle and once you’re in the water no one can see how hot and bothered you might be getting! Once suitable attire had been sourced, I made my first trip to the pool. I had forgotten how much I like being in the water, but the fact that I do has made it easy to make this a regular form of exercise. An additional incentive is that I have purchased an annual pass and I need to go 56 times in the year to make it cheaper than paying for each visit individually. I’m well on target as I’ve been ten times (twice a week) in the past month. One major plus is that three times a week the pool opens at 7am, so I have been able to do all my swimming first thing without it interfering with the rest of my life. I may have found my ideal way (except the chlorine) to get more active!

I’m hoping this extra exercise is going to mean I have much more energy and stamina for all those other things I want to do and so there will be even more going on than before chez snail!

Doggy dilemma


I’d like you to meet Sam and Max:

Canine companions

They are quite big part of my life.  In my quest for sustainability, perhaps a PMI analysis is in order…


  • They help me to keep fit
  • They keep me company when Mr Snail-of-happiness is working away from home (and vice-versa)
  • They don’t answer back (usually)
  • They keep the foxes away from the garden (directly and because a terrier-proof garden is partially fox-proof)
  • They eat scraps
  • Sam makes an excellent hotwater bottle replacement
  • I like them

    Sam guarding against fox incursions


  • I have to feed them: they do eat scraps, but I also buy commercial dog food… a drain on the earth’s resources and supporting some multi-nationals that I don’t really like
  • Max is hairy and has to be groomed – a financial cost plus the use of energy and chemicals
  • They have to be vaccinated and have other medical care… chemicals and multi-nationals again
  • They produce ‘waste’
  • They can be really irritating (especially at 5:30 am)


There are possibilities on the draught excluder front

  • Max helps support a local business (Tina the groomer)
  • I might be able to make felt out of their fur
  • They are both rescued, so I didn’t support puppy breeding
  • I have finally trained them to leave the chickens alone

    Max sees a chicken for the first time in his life

    I’m definitely keeping them! But perhaps I’ll review their diet and at least buy their food from the local pet shop to make them a bit more sustainable.

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