Thursday 14 March 2013

Today I Learned: Walking Edition

Today I went for a walk. Not just any walk though, a "brisk walk"! Under doctor's orders, I will be doing more exercise, so after dismissing the idea of sneezing into the UBU swimming pool for an hour, I took my doctor's suggestion of going for a walk.

Now, I regularly walk around Bristol, but I was told it had to be 30 minutes of "brisk" walking to bring my heart rate up. I wondered to myself, since I already walk much faster than the average person, does that not count? I suppose not, as it doesn't make me break out into a sweat, which is what Dr G said should happen. So...I plotted a vague route, taking in the popular joggers' spot of Durdham Downs, checked the temperature outside and set off.

It was awful. Truly, truly awful. The one thing I didn't account for was wind chill. Looking at a couple of websites, three layers were recommended for walking, but I'd only gone for two, which definitely didn't help. Walking across the flat downs with gusts of wind attacking me was pretty bad, so I detoured down some residential roads. In addition to the other ailments that plague me, I have asthma triggered by cold (among other things), so that just amped up the pain factor. Luckily, I had the good sense to take my inhaler, so it wasn't too bad.

Aside from being uncomfortable, it was rather dull. I took to jogging for a few minutes to break the monotony. As pleasant as the streets in the Syned Park area are, walking down them just isn't that interesting.

So, what did I learn?
1. Check the wind chill factor before going outdoors.
2. Three layers!
3. Residential roads are less painful than the Downs.
4. As soon as I shake off this everlasting cold, it's time to start swimming again.

Monday 11 March 2013


Right, I've been suffering from some sort of dreaful lurgy on-and-off over the last month, hence the delay in updating. I am currently tucked up in bed reading the entire internet and feeling rubbishy, unfortunately.

A few weeks ago, I started a painting class at Bristol Folk House to fill up my time. The main focus is botanical watercolours, so we started off drawing flowers and went on to painting flowers and leaves. I've mainly used acrylics before, so this is fairly different, plus the delicate nature of watercolours is somewhat at odds with my scribble-madly-all-over-the-place style. That said, it's good fun and I am enjoying being in a classroom, makes a nice change from the impersonal lectures I've had for the last few years.

This is the first painting I did, of a closed-up rose. I took my rose home in the hope it would open up a bit so I could sort of did, but the centre remained steadfastly closed, which was a shame.
The second painting is of the same rose, after the outer petals fell away a bit. Posted it to mum for mothers' day; she was pleased with it!