Rhos and Return

The second site on Anglesey is Rhos Park, on the edge of a village called Pentraeth, which lies on the Easterly coast of the island. The park is being taken over by a big company and straight away it is clear that it is tailor made for statics and permanent caravans. In fact, we are to be the one and only tourer on the site throughout the stay and the sole campervan, occupying the one hard-standing pitch on the entire site. Our fellow guests here are mostly from nearby Liverpool and surrounding areas, rather than Wales, which we have found to be commonplace on Anglesey. As Friday progresses the site comes alive with revellers making the most of the long bank holiday weekend, bringing their children, dogs and carfuls of paraphernalia.

We get lucky here with a convenient pub a short stroll along the main road, although the road is busy! The pub serves acceptable pub grub, too.

We still have sunshine for walking the coast path here, at Red Wharf Bay and it’s a huge contrast to the path at Trearddur Bay, following the bay at ground level and requiring a fair bit of leaping and avoiding streams and puddles under our feet. I’m glad of my new walking boots here! But it’s also wonderful fun and feels intrepid. At last the path rises up through a wooded area and emerges by a crazily busy pub, which we by-pass, heading up and around a vast rocky outcrop and through some more woods, onwards until we climb up from the beach at Bellech in great need of a cup of tea. Bellech is gifted with several fish and chip shops and a Tesco Express, but no coffee or tea shop- or at least, none open by 4.30pm. Foot-weary, we locate the bus stop and ride back to site. Then it’s down to the pub for a beer and a meal.

It’s warmer next morning. We make our way down to the bay again, intending to follow the path in the opposite direction, but the afternoon is hot, we’ve walked for about seven days and the path lacks the thrills of the other way, so we abort and opt for a rest day! Back at Rhos our neighbours are packing away and disappearing and we’re set to move again in the morning.

We have a look at Beaumaris, on the Menai Strait overlooking Snowdonia. It’s an elegant, pretty town and thriving, in stark contrast to Holyhead. It has a pier and also a beautiful castle with a moat. The tall, terraced houses overlooking the water boast well tended gardens. The busy High Street offers all kinds of treats for tourists including Italian delis and swanky hotels and we leave with some delicious pasties for our lunch.

After crossing the iconic Menai Bridge we have a scenic drive through Snowdonia, although it appears that half the population has opted for a day out in the national park. There isn’t so much as a bubble car space left anywhere to park, let alone a campervan, so we have to be content with a wait for a coffee stop until we’re almost out of Snowdonia.

We travel all the way down to Tewkesbury, where a pub stopover with a cheerful landlord awaits. We can stay overnight in the car park if we have a meal, which is not onerous!

Next week we’ll be off on the next trip…and to more islands…

Grace is also known as the novelist, Jane Deans. Her new novel, The Conways at Earthsend is now out and available from Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, W H Smith, Pegasus Publishing and many more sites. Visit my author page on Facebook: (1) Jane Deans, Novellist, Short Fiction and Blog | Facebook

One of Three Countries

We are out on our second trip of 2021 striking out west into Wales, from where we’ll head north into territory I may not [or may have] been before. I say this because I know my family had camping trips to Wales when I was a child but my memory is hazy on which locations. I do recall that some kind of precipitation featured regularly on these trips though and it’s likely to be no different this time round.

We’ve spent two nights on the driveway of a family member [that is to say, in our van- not sleeping rough on the gravel!] then we travel west up through Herefordshire and into Wales, stoppping at Abergavenny for our first cafe meal indoors since last year, which feels momentous and is a novelty, even though the weather is warm and sunny and the cafe has cute outside booths for diners.

The little town is pretty and its long, main street is traffic free. Having lunched and wandered in and out of a few shops we return to the van to press on towards our first stop, a two-night stay at Rhayader, by the River Wye. We’ve followed the Wye path for miles and now we are parked up in a site next to it, a footpath adjoining to take us into the town. Rhayader is a simple, unpretentious place but has an abundance of pubs, which means a great deal to Husband, whose interests include the pursuit of beer.

Next day dawns wet and looks likely to stay that way but after lunch it’s dry and we stride out on a walking route towards the River Elan which meanders up and over sheep populated hills and through corridors of bluebells before leadi ng back into Rhayader. We’ve booked a table to eat at a pub in town, choosing lamb, of course!

We leave Rhayader and continue to travel north on a route through the Cambrian mountains, rugged and spectacular, a beautiful journey and in bright sunshine. We finish at Porthmadog and take a quick look before going to our site half a mile outside the town. A small steam train journey from Porthmadog can take us into the Snowdonia National Park so we buy some tickets for 2 days time then drive along to Tyddyn Llyn site, which is bathed in sunshine and has its own mountain view.

There’s more than enough time after setting up, to find the wooded footpath that leads back into Porthmadog, for a closer inspection of the place and to sit in the sunny courtyard of The Red Lion pub with a late afternoon beer. Then it’s back to our site to make dinner- and to discover that we are to be fleeced 50 pence for the privelege of using their showers, on top of our site fee! Scandalous! We shower in the van.

Next morning we wake to a relentless downpour…

Grace is also known as the novelist, Jane Deans. Her new novel, The Conways at Earthsend is now out and available from Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, W H Smith, Pegasus Publishing and many more sites. Visit my author page on Facebook: (1) Jane Deans, Novellist, Short Fiction and Blog | Facebook

A Fine Week for Devon

We reserved a table outside at The Ship Inn at Cockswood for 6.00pm, hoping that the sun would last long enough for us to be comfortable. In the event, although we’d selected a table that would catch the last rays, the wrought iron chairs, surrounding trees and an invading cloud thwarted any hopes of warmth. It was a good meal, but I envied those who’d had the forethought to bring cosy blankets to wrap up in. A chilly edge to the wind persisted.

Half way through our week exploring the Ex estuary we moved to the other side of the river, to a site called Prattshayes, joining a handful of vans and caravans in a field next to a small stream, presumably once a farm but now a holiday complex consisting of camp site and rental cottages. Less than half a mile up the lane lies the village of Littleham, a large community with two pubs. We wandered up in evening sunshine and had a beer in the garden of The Clinton Arms, although the menu wasn’t tempting.

Cycle fanatic van neighbours, older but clearly more sprightly, recommended a route along an old railway track to Budleigh Salterton, which we decided to tackle next day.

The first climb came up through Littleham village, then after some confusion about where the cycle path began we rode up…and up…

The path curved up through woods, occasional gaps giving glimpses of wonderful views over the Devon countryside and farmland. While it was never steep the gradient was relentless. I vowed not to get off and push as I had on the way to Dawlish and was relieved to make it to the top without walking and even with one or two gears left! Then it was the blessed downhill slope and a hopeless muddle of attempts to find the cycle path in the back streets of Budleigh.

At last we plunged down into the tiny town and to the pebbly beach, where a kiosk was doing brisk business in ice creams and coffees. Feeling that an ice cream might be deserved by now we indulged, then walked the bikes along the prom until we were back in town.

We followed up for our final day with a walk up and along the coast path via ‘Sandy Bay’ holiday park, memorable in that in must surely be the most vast array of chalets the world has to offer, [unless you, reader, know better?]. Once we’d crossed it, though, the coastal views were wonderful and we could loop back along the lanes and a footpath to our site without retracing our steps.

That was it for south Devon- until the next time- and somewhere I’ve never been…

Grace is also known as the novelist, Jane Deans. Her new novel, The Conways at Earthsend is now out and available from Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads, W H Smith, Pegasus Publishing and many more sites. Visit my author page on Facebook: (1) Jane Deans, Novellist, Short Fiction and Blog | Facebook

Autumn Getaway 2

When I am kept from sleep by a dull ache in my hips and knees I wonder why I’m so enthusiastic about walking the Cornish coast path and then I remember that a time is coming when I won’t be able to.

We move on from Batallack, near St Just, to a site with wonderful, dramatic views at Trethevy, near Tintagel. Tintagel always sounds as if it should be a settlement for an elven community and it transpires that there are Cornish influences in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It’s breezy but dry, as once installed, we set off to walk into Tintagel, short in distance and long in time. The descents and climbs begin quickly with a sharp drop from our camp site into a deep ravine and across a footbridge then up the other side with steps and slopes until we reach a gentle, upward field.

We reach the top of the field where a glimpse of a turret suggests Tintagel Castle but is, in fact a grand hotel, then we round the rocky headland and drop down again, this time for a view of the footbridge across to the castle, now a ruin and accessible only by reserving tickets from ‘English Heritage’. Foiled again, by our ineptitude in booking ahead!

We aren’t devastated. It’s another steep walk up to the village [on the road this time] passed by shuttle runs of land rovers taking sightseers down to the castle and back and those of us who walk it feel smug, if not achey, from gaining the top under our own steam.

We’ve a couple of hours to kill in Tintagel village, which we fritter by having tea then meandering in and out of gift shops and picking up a few things, which helps the local economy in these straightened times.

For once, we’ve been prepared and booked a table for dinner at the excellent ‘Olde Malthouse Inn’, a lovely old stone building in Fore Street. The meal is delicious enough to merit being Husband’s birthday dinner, even though there is still a couple of days until this milestone is reached. There is a relaxed ambience and we are not too out of place in our muddy walking gear. But we are saved from braving the soaring and plummeting coast path home by an elderly, jovial taxi driver who proudly declares he’s never set foot on the coast path.

Next day it’s our last walk, in the opposite direction to Boscastle, famously devastated by floods in 2004. The walk is mostly undulating but punctuated by steep steps in places. We climb to the coastguard lookout in a white tower, where it feels like the top of the world, then down into Boscastle’s tiny harbour, now restored and lined with tourist shops.

Further up there are cafes, pubs and a smattering of shops. It only remains to find the bus stop for our return to the site, where a visiting fish and chip van is the main attraction of the day!

Goodbye Cornwall, for now. But we’ll be back!

Autumn Getaway

I’ve returned from time-travelling travel to present day travel for this week’s post.

It occurs to me that we, [that is to say, Husband and myself] have not got the hang of this Covid thing at all. Yes-we are practised in the art of mask-wearing. Yes-we wash our hands lots. Yes-we keep our distance [not from each other, you understand]. Yes-we don’t throw big parties. But we haven’t got to grips with planning ahead, reserving, booking and being organised.

We have come west to Cornwall, via Dartmoor in Devon, where we stayed at a pub campsite and took advantage of the hearty meals on offer. Our departure was delayed due to Biblical quantities of rain which penetrated our house roof [again]. But that is another story. The rain has turned from relentless deluge into squally, intermittent showers punctuated with gusts of wind, a marginal improvement, although I wouldn’t volunteer to swap places with the occupants of the two tents on the site.

We head off in the morning, making for St Just, beyond Penzance, which is towards Cornwall’s ‘toe’ and on the Atlantic coast. But we aren’t in a hurry and having picked up home-made pasties in a farm shop we attempt to park in Launceston without success then find a picnic area where we can stop, make coffee [a distinct improvement on the kiosk Nescafe from yesterday] and continue on our way. After a blustery drive we stop for a break and spot a castle perched on a hill, poking up behind a field. It is, of course, St Michael’s Mount, twin of French Normandy’s Mont St Michel.

It’s years since I visited St Michael’s Mount. We decide to take a detour. When we reach Marazion, the tiny town that faces the mount, the car parks are choc-a-bloc and having been denied access to the National Trust park we have no choice but to pay a steep £8 to park in the ‘alternative’ one.

Then we battle our way across the cobbled causeway towards the Mount, sandblasted and peppered with rain, but when we get to the threshold there are NT staff in masks checking tickets and there is nothing for it but to turn back. We fight our way back across the causeway, mercifully still not breached by the waves and have a stroll up through Marazion, which, though pretty enough is upstaged by St Michael’s Mount sprouting from the broad beach in a dramatic fashion.

We return to the car park where we feel smug making a cup of tea to utilise our £8 fee.

We head off to our pre-booked site at Batallack, near St Just and a few strides from the coast path. The owner is amenable, the site pleasant, with a smattering of occupants.

Next day is cloudy but dry as we set off to walk along the coast path towards Pendeen, where we can get a bus back to the site. As soon as we reach the path the scenery is rugged, rocky cliffs falling steeply down the sea and peppered with the remains of chimneys and wheelhouses from all the old tin mines, all of which have been at least partially restored. The path dips and rises, providing some stiff climbs and descents. In one cove the rocky cliffs are striped with green where arsenic has leeched from the old mines.

After a couple of hours a dank October drizzle sets in, soaking us as we climb steeply up towards the road to Pendeen. We reach the village, legs aching, and scan the main road for a bus stop. The map app on Husband’s phone has disappeared so having spotted a car park sign I make the assumption this is the village centre and we make for it, nipping into the village pub to confirm we’re en route. Sure enough there is not only a bus stop but a shelter! and a few minutes later the double decker ‘coastal breezer’ comes around the corner to take us back to our site. Bliss!

The World Shrinks to the Shape of a Day

smart

How our lives have changed!

In the space of a month we have gone from leading our carefree, ignorant lives, pottering, shopping, taking a train ride, going to the pub, going for a meal, visiting our families, having visitors, going to the cinema or to the theatre, participating in gym classes, getting together with friends or  pursuing our hobbies to leading much smaller lives.

We write lists of jobs.

We clean. We turn out cupboards and sweep the garage. After time, the initial enthusiasm for cleaning begins to pall.

We garden; weeding, mulching, pruning and tidying. I long for the distraction of browsing in a garden centre.

We walk.

We watch TV. We catch up on programmes we missed or dismissed. We try a live-streamed pub quiz. We instigate a ‘movie night’-a leap of faith for Husband, who is film-averse. We watch a favourite, local singer-guitarist broadcasting from his living room.

We video message.

We listen to the news or watch it.

We pursue whichever activities we are still allowed to do.

We are the lucky ones. We have a garden, one that still requires a great deal of work. But the garden centres are closed and we must make do with whatever we can, splitting and dividing plants or moving things around.

We chat over the fence to our neighbours, keeping to our distance rule.

We make the most of our allocated daily walk, the local streets having to replace our favourites like the 12 mile sweep of beautiful Bournemouth Bay or the New Forest national park. We discover interesting or unusual sights over garden walls or in windows, becoming observant, critical or appreciative.

We cross the road in avoidance tactics-are we the only ones to do so? It seems so… We salute walking strangers, smile in acknowledgement of our shared predicament.

I bake things. We eat them. We make creative meals with the ingredients we have, or the odd items we found while cleaning out the cupboard, keeping shopping expeditions to once a week. We take turns to run the gauntlet of the weekly supermarket shop, having taken pains to write a comprehensive list, fearful of having to return before another week passes.

I exercise, using an online Pilates class. I become religious about my Pilates class, performing a morning ritual of moving furniture and rolling out my yoga mat. I grow to like my online, nameless teacher and look forward to her calm, gentle tones instructing me. ‘Well done!’ she says and I almost glow with virtual pride.

We take pleasure in the small things and are grateful for what we have-a comfortable, roomy house, a garden, healthy meals, communications from our family.

We are humbled by the heroism of so many in the face of such a mountainous catastrophe.

And we mourn for lives lost and devastated by this, the abomination of our era.

A Foot on the Beach

P1080797

If I’ve learned anything during the large number of years I’ve now lived, it’s that travelling under your own steam [bike or feet] in the open air helps to alleviate all kinds of problems. This is much documented, of course; but since I began to exercise with any kind of regularity [post children-in my 30s] I can vouch for the benefits.

Once upon a time I ran. I ran almost every day, from my 30s until my mid-50s. When you run almost every day it starts to become essential and a cessation of the activity is a source of stress in itself. But here is the injustice of health and ageing. Some runners are very lucky and able to continue into extreme old age. Others, like myself and Husband have had to hang up their running shoes and admit defeat. Injury has forced us off the jogging trail and on to the hiking path-or perhaps, in summer, the cycle path.

When you have overcome the bitter disappointment of giving up running, walking can take over as the meditative, cathartic activity you enjoyed before. As a writer I can drift off into the plot and characters of my current project, ponder tricky domestic issues, compose, get ideas, think. 

What, then, if walking is not possible?

Since last May I’ve been inflicted with an annoying, painful inflammation of the membrane under my foot. This inflammation is known as plantar fasciitis and I have been subjected to repeated bouts since the running years, having had steroid jabs, ultrasound treatments and physio, worn jelly pads, worn condition-appropriate footwear, religiously kept up targeted exercises and been strapped up. This time the problem is particularly stubborn and slow to respond to the twice-weekly physio I’ve opted for.

So as part of the regime I’m on for recovery I must walk on sand. This,  according to Alice, the physio is particularly beneficial if I go barefoot. Barefoot? We are now, officially in winter!

I am nevertheless fortunate in that where we live we are spoilt for beach choice and I can select from varied stretches of beach; from sheltered harbourside bays to wide expanses of sand washed by waves. Coasts are beautiful in any weather condition. A walker has only to wrap up and don appropriate footwear to appreciate a beach. A variety of wildlife abounds, now and then a curious sight, such as this alien-like skeleton adorning the sand. [In reality a dead swan].

P1080795

At the start of the regime it goes swimmingly, my foot responding well to the massage style of walking on sand and I stick to the modest distance Alice has recommended. But a subsequent,  over-ambitious walk sets me back and the offending foot complains stiffly. Baby steps then, and I have to remember I’ve had this condition [this time] since May…

 

 

A Take on Transport

I used to love driving. I was late to learn, at 25, pootling around Putney in south London all of one cold, dark, snowy winter in the evenings after work, with my British School of Motoring instructor. My steering was unorthodox, he told me and said that I should have some lessons in daylight since I’d only ever driven at night.

I passed my second test, at Teddington-a place I knew no more of than Guildford, where I’d failed 2 weeks before. Then I acquired my little old, faded green Austin A40 with a steering wheel like a bicycle wheel and doors that stuck and had me crawling through the hatchback to enter and exit. But I was ecstatic to be independent at last.

Throughout the early years of motherhood, when there was only one family car, the independence was gone with the vehicle and I was reduced to shank’s pony, pounding the streets with a mewling sprog in a pram and wondering how it had come to this?

In the single-parent-working-full-time years I regained some autonomy with a battered Volvo and could load kids inside and camping gear on the roof rack in the holidays or collect bits and pieces for the ramshackle home I’d purchased and was attempting [on evenings and weekends] to do up. I loved to drive. I enjoyed long journeys-even when it took 9 hours of traffic jams to get to the Kendal home of friends I been invited to for a weekend.

Somewhere along the years to old age however a gradual falling out of love with driving took place; not that I won’t or don’t drive, but I’ve come to appreciate other modes of transport, becoming a fan of buses, especially with the gaining [finally] of my pensioner bus pass. I’m not the only bus-pass-holder to take a child-like pleasure in gaining the front seat on the top deck, either…

Then there’s the train, where a ‘seniors’ railcard gives a worthwhile discount. Of course it isn’t as glamorous as it was when I was a child, when you walked along the corridor and slid open a door to a compartment, but if you are lucky enough to get a seat it’s possible to drift into a reverie and gaze out; or listen to others’ conversations [real or phone]. These days train travel can be a frustrating and tiring business, as we found when, having travelled, 2 weeks ago, 4,000 miles by air through the night on a trans-Atlantic flight to Gatwick, arriving at 5am, all the trains south towards Southampton and beyond had been cancelled ‘due to signal failure’. Lovely. Just what you’d wish for after an 8 hour night flight.

On flights, ferries, trains and buses, where someone else has the responsibility, I think the trick is to sit back and relinquish control. Watch the movie, look at the view, listen to the conversations, read your book. Better to travel hopefully [and also to arrive!].

 

 

When the High Tide of Expectation Drops to a Catastrophic Low

The research took some time. It was tricky finding a suitable date, near enough to the actual big day plus an itinerary that would be acceptable. It had been impossible to find a Rhine cruise that allowed us to drive overland to the embarkation point, so I’d had to select flights then change them [at a cost] because they were at some obscene hour of the morning like 6.30am. A 6.30am flight, as I pointed out to the lady on the phone hardly constituted a birthday treat, especially as airports these days require you to be there two hours before take-off. This would be 4.30am. 4.30am!
Then there was the complimentary taxi to the airport, which would need to collect us at 2.30am. 2.30am! How would anyone manage this? Would you sleep beforehand, retiring at a ridiculous hour then getting up at 1.30? Or would you stay up and be almost comatose for the first couple of days of the trip?
No. I changed the flights. I reserved a room at the Heathrow Hilton. The taxi would take us to Heathrow at a respectable hour of the afternoon, we’d check in to the hotel and enjoy a leisurely meal, get a decent night’s sleep and be at terminal 5 at around 8.30am for a 10.30am flight. Sorted.
Husband had chosen a Rhine cruise as his birthday treat. These days there is precious little ‘stuff’ that he wants or needs, and being a man, if he wants or needs something he gets it. As regular readers know, Husband, that character who features in many posts, had a particular milestone birthday two weeks ago and as a result had an entire post written about him…
I’d been startled by his choice of a cruise, as we are great avoiders of such holidays [this, reader has also been much documented on Anecdotage], but river cruises are as unlike sea cruises as cycling is to motor bikes. The boats are not vast, floating monstrosities and passengers must not endure days and days at sea getting stuffed with gargantuan meals, enduring endless, tedious cabarets, ‘dressing’ for dinners and making small talk with those with whom they are incarcerated. The modest cruise boat makes frequent stops at places you can walk around and the ambience is casual. There would always be something to see, even from the cabin. We’d have begun at Amsterdam and finished at Basle. I was frustrated that we’d had to fly such a short distance [Amsterdam is a city that can be driven to in a day from Dunkirk] but when the detailed itinerary arrived in the post it looked thrilling. We’d be stopping each day at beautiful, historic places and get walking tours, as well as travelling through the beautiful Rhine gorge and seeing the Lorelei rock.

I bought new suitcases [ours hailing from a bygone era], bought shoes, organised, laundered, ironed, primed the neighbours.

‘You should see this’ Husband informed me as I returned from shopping. It was an email from the river cruise holiday company to the effect that they were changing the itinerary to mostly coach travel. This was due to a lack of water in the Rhine. He [and I] never at any point wished to embark on a coach tour. I cancelled.

I must admit to feeling slightly nauseous [yes, yes I realise it is a ‘first world’ issue].

We packed our camper van and drove off to the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, 30 miles away from our home and parked in the sunshine overlooking the hillside at Corfe Castle. We strode out over the hills and enjoyed the breath-taking views of our lovely Dorset coast. I stopped feeling bereaved.

Out in the van, we are never disappointed. Yes, there are sometimes challenges or difficulties. Yes, we must make the odd meal, wash up, empty various tanks. But we are not dependent on flights, hotels, plans others have made.

P1060375   P1060383  P1060386

 

Next week Fiction Month begins! Check in to Anecdotage for fresh, new fiction…

Do What You Like

I am amused by a news article declaring that the latest cohort to come under attack from the health police is the middle aged. Apparently this is due to their unhealthy life styles. They work long hours, spend hours on their commutes and then mitigate the ensuing stresses of their days by glugging down copious glasses of wine and lolling on sofas watching box-sets whilst dipping into bags of Pringles or pressing pause only to order a takeaway pizza. Shame on them!

Lucky me, then that I am past middle age. In fact, as I recall I became my most active and healthy during those years, despite having a busy, stressful job and being a single parent etc. I’d have to hold my hands up regarding the wine consumption, which was not modest-but on the exercise front I’d have won a lot of points. Not only was I undertaking DIY on the hovel I’d purchased but also attending exercise classes, following a slavish regime of aerobics videos and running each and every day. I was a virtuous paragon and the only pity was that there was no Facebook or Instagram or whatever to enable me to ‘Map My Run’ and brag about my achievements.

If that exercise regime gave me anything it was an ingrained awareness that regular physical activity is a necessary component of a comfortable life-even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. The difference now though is that the activity must be dictated by what is physically possible. In other words, running and leaping around in an aerobics class are no longer options due to failures of joints and general decrepitude. Instead I indulge in pursuits that a] I am able to do and b] I enjoy.

Exercise crazes come and go with the wind. Once upon a time I threw myself into aerobics, embracing the entire Jane Fonda/leggings and leotard package. The next big thing was Step-Aerobics. Again I became snared in the allure of leaping around and up and down, attending  3 classes each week, unaware of the damage I was doing to my hips, knees and feet but thrilling to the appeal of the ‘horseshoe turn’ and its accompanying, fancy moves.

My aversion to tepid water has been blogged in a previous post, hence swimming is ‘out’. [https://gracelessageing.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/when-you-know-you-are-out-of-your-depth/]. But I can still treat myself to a twice weekly dose of dance with the ever-popular Zumba and have learned to love walking, whether accompanied or not, although I am in a constant search for the Holy Grail of all walking shoes; a pair that eliminates all vestige of arthritis, plantar fasciitis, corns, bunions and the rest. How unglamorous bodies become in older age! I’ve documented my late entry into the world of Yoga [https://gracelessageing.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/sensual-slow-and-unsupple/] and recommend it for anyone hoping to stay fit and mobile for as long as possible.

I eat vegetables √ I’ve replaced a lot of meat meals with fish √ I’ve cut out sugar √ I’ve all but cut out alcohol √

So now, reader, I fully expect to become immortal. I’ll keep you posted.