Living by the sword


Well as you know I'm not having a sterling time of late, however I can hardly dish out the advice without taking it myself and so I must to change! As the Europeans might say.

I need some help so I thought Id ask you lot :-)

As the chap and I are no longer on speaking terms my routine is changing. We always used to go out at weekend and so I got some exercise. The gym is out of the question and my bike is broken for the moment, so it seems walking is the short term answer. No longer in possession or able to have a dog I find walks yawningly boring :-). I have no walkee if you like, as in local friend to walk with.

If left to my own devices I will stay in alone and work on the computer 24/7 so thats not a good idea whilst eating of course... ha ha.

So my question is this how do you a) get out doors when you have no reason to do so and its cold, b) what is the motivation, what do you do once you are out there?

Also since I seem to be experiencing a temporary relationship issue any tips for ignoring that and finding a better place would be fab.

Hope you don't mind me asking but you are all so wonderful here.

I suppose what Im asking is what works for you, what pulls your chain, is that right? Im forever misquoting...ha ha.

Know what I have half an idea to fix that pesky bike, I love cycling and the physio said it burns off twice as many calories as boring walking! But then where do you cycle Honestly the mind is like a steel trap!


Thank you for listening XX

29 Replies

  • Fix the bike! If you love cycling then that's at least going to make you excited about going out. Where is there to cycle around your house? Use google maps to find places you'd like to go to, but that are too far to walk to and back...the bike is your answer! Even better, find somewhere that has a cafe so that you can stop for sustenance and a rest before you head back... ;)

    We have two open fires at home, so if I feel I need to motive myself to get out, I grab a bag and go walking in the woods for firewood and kindling, pine cones and stuff. It gets me outside, and I have a purpose too. (OK, I may look a bit crazy, wandering around with a bag stuffed full of wood, but I've got better at not caring at that!)

    Good luck,

    Carmela x

  • Carmel...great minds and all that, as soon as I typed this I got the plastic bags out and I am cellotaping them together as we speak! So that I can put a plastic sheet down and bring in the bike to fix it! I know nothing about bikes but my brother bought me a fix it bike book and there is you tube.

    You're a bloody marvel Carmel!

    Lucky you open fires, who magical. If I had real fires I dont thnk id go out id just stay in watching them and day dreaming... ha ha. Well done you for recycling pine cones and the like. Im so pleased you replied, cheered me up no end. I shall keep you abreast of progress as Im sure you will be glued to the screen awaiting news of the bike (ha ha) :-)


  • Ha ha! Yup, great minds definitely think alike! You're so right - I will be awaiting news of your progress with bated breath. I am in awe at you attempting to fix your bike....I wouldn't even know where to start!

    Yes, the wood fire is lovely, and if the day is miserable it's fantastic to be able to put it on and sit in front of it with a book --- it was Lord of the Rings that got me thinking to put pine-cones on the fire --not too much otherwise the pine-sap can coat the chimney-- but just a few to make it look nice. Also orange and tangerine peel -- if you dry it on a radiator or in front of the fire til it goes all crispy, it makes great fire-starters!

    Some people say that they think a fire is too much of a bother with clearing it out, and setting it and all that, but I love that part of it too - I even like chopping wood and stacking it all ready to use ...when I was in Estonia, they had amazing log piles outside, huge things, and all stacked to perfection --- I joked that there was an inspector of woodpiles going around with a measuring tape!

  • I love that image of you with a tape measure how funny.

    I have to go soon and fix but will return from time to time, so mean time does the fireside make you want to write books? Id like to find a children's book writer or some really great old stories as I have 3 characters drawn out they just need some brilliant adventures :-)


  • Mwuahaha...yes, I do write stuff. I am attempting to write first drafts of three children's books, but I find it really hard as I'm such a perfectionist and it takes me ages to allow myself to write rubbish so that I can edit it later (rather than re-writing every word at least three times, erasing it , and then (half an hour later) only having written two lines....)

  • Wow fantastic, we should talk when I have more time.

    This bike malarky is harrd work! My bike has been outside on its own for 2 years! I have cleaned the chain, de rusted the spokes and cleaned other parts on the back wheel. Attempts to clean the cartridge lead me to believe I will have to take it off! Still I'll wait and see Ive yet to clean the rest of the bike. Its all in working order but I probably best take it to a bike shop after I have cleaned it for the all clear. As I tend to cycle on busy roads would want my breaks to cut

    TOP TIP: to get rust off, use tin foil shine side on the metal work, works like a dream, no scrubbing for hours!


  • Sounds like you've done a lot today! I keep my bike in the shed, but even so it probably needs some TLC before I start taking it out more. One of these days I will need to follow your example, roll my sleeves up and just get to it! Thanks for the top tip - I'll have to remember that one.


  • Okay Bike cleaned, have to replace the cassette because the chain keeps slipping off! But she is all sparkly. Oh and I might need new breaks, no more than that I hope and of course I have to pump up the tyres. I shall leave all that fun for tomorrow and get on with homework now.

    Off to the bike shop tomorrow see if he will let me put the bike parts on the bike myself with a little instruction...heres hoping.

    After that a short cycle to Northern France! What do you think... ha ha

    Hope your day went well


  • Hi Caroline

    Sorry you are having a bad time at the mo. I like to listen to audiobooks when I am walking on my own somewhere boring. I get them from I guess the motivation is that you know it's good for you to exercise. With a good, gripping book, it's enjoyable, honest!

    I can't offer you any relationship tips, sorry.

    Bit cold for cycling.


  • Libby

    Fantastic I loooove plays and the radio what a brilliant idea!

    I could pick a book for say and hour or so and walk and listen...genius! I don't have an ipod anymore and my phone battery seems to last but a moment, but I'll chew on this and workout a way. Thank you sooo much. I can get audio books from the library...I loooove the library, I always feel like its Christmas come early ...books for couldn't dream it

    P.S love your profile image...with you as Bat Woman and me as Velma from Scoobydoo, we could solve a crime and still be home in time for


  • Oh and if you have 3/4 books to recommend that would be fab if you dont mind?

    I used to like horror but I try and concentrate on the positive these days. I watched 'Hugo' last night what a lovely creative film :-)


  • oh, was that The Invention of Hugo Cabret, based on the book?

  • I think so yeah its fab you can watch the whole film for free on You Tube I just typed in Hugo, such a magical film really made my day yesterday.

    Now Carmel I dont wish to alarm you but the news is....THE BIKE IS NOW IN THE FLAT...I repeat the BIKE is in the flat, I just have to find the right music to clean to and bingo!

    You're a bloody genius Carmel A GENUIS!! :-)


  • I love that film! It's such a great adaptation of the book (which is excellent too).

    THE BIKE : Woo hooo! Good for you!

    Song Suggestions:

    Bicycle Race (Queen)

    Nine Million Bicycles (Katie Melua)

    Bike (Pink Floyd)

  • I am so glad the audiobook idea appeals! Hmm recommendations is tricky as it's such a personal thing....I tend to like 'page turning' detective fiction that demands my attention. Currently working my way through Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, but have previously enjoyed the Rebus books by Ian Rankin, and Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series. When I need a break from the blood and guts I like Graham Greene or Trollope (Anthony, that is).

    I rescue bats, hence my profile image, but I like the idea of teaming up to do some crime-busting! My dog looks nothing like Scooby but is about as daft


  • Oh my God you rescue bas and you have a dog! You ARE a Super

    I had a dog when I was younger, I live somewhere where I cant have pets and I miss having a dawg, I cant even have a hampster ...awe. Still Im very busy these days so thats good.

    Murder mysteries are all I listen too and watch these days its like the worlds gone murder mystery I watch father Brown because they film in the summer and villages and countryside is sooo beautiful. The 39 steps in on radio 4 extra at the mo its fantastic.

    Hillarious quote of the day Joanne Trollope was being interviewed once on radio 4 and made the gem of a comment...get this.. she said " Well I mean we all middle class these days" I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my chair...priceless.

    Ive never read any Anthony, as have to read alot for school I dont really read for pleasure anymore, hence the audio book thing is great. Would prefer to steer clear of romance for the

    Anyway the BIKE is in the Flat now...hoorah, lots of WD40 ago go :-)


  • Hi Caroline I live in the City so mostly have to walk in a park about 20 mins away

    Or walk in boring urban streets. I always have IPod and earbuds in and I either

    Listen to a Playlist which I made which is all my favourite. Quick beat music.

    From Reggae to Rock it works for me, or I listen to Radio too. The times passes

    Quickly then and it's enjoysble .

    Other days I listen to a book on IPod from Audible but I know they are expensive

    Enough to download on a regular basis, but it's just a thought.

    Also I find if I make a regular time to go for my walk then it becomes a habit and

    Then I seem to do it like a robot even if I didn't want to go originally,

    Another thing I do if I have a letter to Post ( sounds daft maybe) but I grab it and

    Hotfoot it out the door. Or I go the cinema in town and then walk home and it's

    Kind of carrot and stick effect.

    Caroline I always walk alone and I don't mind that really, when the weather improves

    A bit I get bus to beach and walk there which is nice, my favourite walk.

    Oh I hooe some of this helps you a bit, it takes a while to get back into doing things

    Alone but it will happen bit by bit and by spring you will be flying, also get your runners

    And leave them out and leave it that you just have to run out the door.

    Make a real effort to get that bike Tour de France ready.

    Luv and hugs

    Hannah xx

  • Hannah I proposed to walk today but the bike clean has me indoors, I recon it will take me a few days to get it up to sparkling but I have started so Im looking forward to the day me and my bike are back on the road. Since I got the car the bike got neglected ...poor bike. Anyway Im on the case, just stopped for lunch.

    I love this, I love people sharing what works for them and all the details its so lovely the way people share on here. I love the image of you have walked home after the movies or running out the door to post a letter.

    Ahhh the seaside I wish I lived nearer the sea, it magical!

    Watch Hugo Hannah its such a beautiful film :-)


  • Hi Caroline depression is strange in that you have to something to get motivated and not the other way around. I love taking my sisters dog out as she is very entertaining and I get to chat to lots of other dog walkers which is a bonus. I did think of getting a bike to get fitter but it is too hilly round here and I couldn't manage hills. Maybe an electric bike?

    Happy cycling. Here how about getting yourself a penny farthing then I could walk beside you in my crinoline dresses. :d Bev xx

  • Penny farthing young lady! Id fall right off that... ha ha. I can just about do a pogo stick.

    Bevy are you sure it's allll hills? Cycling is so much fun, you could rent a bike and try out.

    I've finally cleaned my bike its only taken me allll day but I have to replace the cassette and I've yet to check the breaks / break pads, so I think Ill save that for tomorrow. Then ring the bike shop and see whats doin :-)

    Bevy I have scrubbed and cleaned until my hands are raw, I dont want to find any dirt from the road/street getting into my bike ever again! maybe I should put her in a glass case, on display...ha ha.

    Slightly worried about the expense as money it tight but lets see, no harm in askin, going to ask if he will show me and let me fit the parts myself!

    :-) X

  • Hello Caroline

    I do not know what to suggest I am disabled and my exercise routine is working in the garden in sharp bursts, we take Pax out for a walk although I can be very restricted there also. Sometimes we will walk into the woods or on the beach. Have not been to the neolithic stone site yet as it is to far for me.

    Sad to say my fruit garden is up to date and I have just planted a further two apple trees from the 1700s to complement to modern varieties and another variety from the 1600s.

    We have also just plated more Raspberries and Redcurrants, so it will be new strawberries next. Hazel has been playing with the shredder, that is good fun, mind if you are depressed it is one way to take off your fingers. So I suppose if you do that you can run seven miles to the hospital to get them sewn back on lol.

    Will be plating new potatoes soon so that can keep me busy as we grow them in special bags these days.

    So I do not know what to suggest. I have just cracked a tooth this pm so I have a forty five mile drive to get it sorted. LOL

    You could come up here and we could keep you busy. LOL

    Living in the countryside, sad to say is not as relaxing as some people think, we will be putting in a further four flower borders this year, they are about thirty feet long so we need a navy to do that for us, mind we have a nifty cultarvator digger to do the work for us, mind Hazel will also be busy there as the machine is to heavy for me. LOL

    So Caroline you can come up here, Hazel will keep you busy and you will have muscles the size of my head by the time you go home. LOL

    Sorry Pet I am just kidding on LOL

    BOB xxx

  • You remind me of Gardeners Question time. I know nothing about gardening and have no idea what they are saying but it makes me smile. You know all is right with the world when theres Gardeners Question time and the Shipping Forecast on radio 4.

    My favourite is when some woman has a question about her dying plant and they reply have you watered it...makes me howl with laughter :-) Bless them.

    No, No I am busy ALOT with school work its just I need to consciously think about building in some kind of exercise and I'm the sort of hedonist who will only get involved in something fun! :-)

    I'd like a dog but cant have one where I live, so maybe when school is finished I'll see if I can volunteer at some dog rescue type place. Also being in the middle of a relationship storm I need to keep the spirits up and be mindful of building in fun stuff.

    Im sorry you have trouble getting about and a 45 mile drive to the dentist! Have you tried a piece of string in the door?!

    Just kidding, good luck dentist aren't fun.

    Loved hearing about you garden how wonderful!


  • Caroline we would give training. The Good Life strikes again


  • Barbara Woodhouse once said the only dog you cant train is a Basset, in dog terms I fear I may be a :-)

    Although the Blood donor people did train me to give blood for a while there with promise of custard creams and a nice maybe with the right


  • I love that you have old apple varieties in your garden, Bob. What varieties are they?

  • Apples Johnagold, ashmeads kernal, blenhiem orange, James grieve, egremont russet, tomas rievers peach, charles ross , george cave ,lord lambourne ,peasgood,

    pears concord conference doyeunne de comis, durondu, invincible

    plums and gages Victoria, jubilee, merryweather damson, old greengage, oulin gage.

    Cherry summertime, stella.

    FIG brown turkey

    We have a German apple tree that could be outstaying its welcome and a tree we inherited.

    We had more trees in our old place, although now I have had to ration the number a bit


  • Young Bob are you in fact creating a Wood!?

    Lull us all into a false sense of security and bingo, Bev is in a long skirt with a bonnet and a red coat being pursued by a wolf! Cunning Bob,

    Just kidding, we all know it is in fact you dressed as a wolf engaging in a jolly jape, Bob you master of disguise!


  • Well everybody replied to you but all I can say to your post is what works for me which is:: if its too cold stay in if the Sun comes out choose a short walk plan it out and get my ear phones in with some classical music and power walk. Fix the bike if you are not a walker.. or go for a warm swim. I have just finished the book seven shades of gray & Anabel---- So I cannot comment I will leave that one to your own thoughts.


  • Hi

    Thanks Jule1, I'm well on the way to a fixed bike :-) Just got to call the bike shop and see if I can take her in for a look, see if I really need to replace the cartridge and get a second opinion on the brakes ...hoorah! I also want to see if he will let me/ help me replace the cartridge myself.

    I have a ton of work to do as its half term so I don't know how much cycling I'll get done but hope to do some at least. Haven't heard of 7 shades of Gray & Anabel will have to look it up later. Less of a Classicals gal ( that's more my mum), but Jazz now you're

    Anyhoo I hope you have a wonderful day Jule1 and thanks for your ideas XX