Everything is so very green here at the moment. After some much-needed rain yesterday, my locale seems even more verdant.

Some things are already past their best:

while others are reaching the height of their powers.

Down at the lade today, I saw three spectacularly bright kingfishers flitting in and out of the bank-side — a mother, and two youngsters who were being shown the ropes. My macro lens is rubbish for capturing little birds, but happily, my heron-buddy is much too big to miss.

I am so enjoying my walks at the moment — I have had two really ‘bad’ days since going up Beinn Ghlas, but have been otherwise OK. So I’ve been trying to increase my foot miles, in the hope of building up strength and stamina for further climbs. I managed six miles on Wednesday, and another six yesterday – this is close to what I’d regard as a ‘normal’ daily distance, so I am really rather pleased. Three of yesterday’s miles involved popping into town to get my eyes tested – the sort of foot journey I’d have thought nothing about previously, but just to stride up Broughton Street felt completely amazing. I should also mention a simple thing that I’ve found really helps me to maintain my energy levels, which is having snacks on hand to eat throughout the day. This is so bloody obvious, I feel stupid for not discovering it earlier, but, in the past, lunch was a meal that didn’t really exist for me. I liked to write without distractions on an empty stomach, and, with the prospect of Tom’s tasty home cooking ahead of me in the evening, would often spend a working day consuming nothing but copious quantities of tea. This sort of behaviour is probably not good for anyone, but it would definitely be bad for me in my current position. I’ve had to totally change my relationship to food, and have a range of snacks about me at all times – especially while walking. Nuts and Soreen alone cannot beat post-stroke fatigue, unfortunately, but eating regularly definitely helps to keep me on an even keel. (I can’t believe I’m writing about my eating habits, but it is good to have a record of these things, recovery-wise).

Well, I’m off to fill up the wazzwagon with high-energy snacks in the hope of attempting another hill tomorrow. Thanks for your lovely comments recently – hope you all have a nice weekend!

36 thoughts on “mileage

  1. Isn’t it wonderful to see all the new flowers blooming? The Speedwell is a gorgeous shade of blue. It’s good that you are continuing to improve your strength by walking, I’m sure that it is the one thing that keeps everyone fit.

    I haven’t had a slice of fruit cake in years, perhaps I should change that soon.

  2. Your heron-buddy? My husband things all birds are his buddies, too. Even though they always give surly replies to his remarks.

  3. Yes I have also discovered the good in eating every 3-4hours. By the way, the birds are Herons. Very good to hear about your progress in walking.

  4. I love reading your blog, adventures, recovery, everything. You’re pictures are inspiring and beautiful. You’re journey is inspiring!

  5. Oooooooooooooh, malt loaf! I haven’t eaten that for years! I might just have to buy some this weekend. Only trouble is, I like it spread rather too thickly with butter!! Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I really, really enjoy everything you write – so inspiring. I found out the same thing: eating regularly keeps away migraine – not always, but sometimes! And drinking water throughout the day as well as sleeping enough… So simple! But it also took me years to discover…

  7. Love your photos! It is a beautiful time of year.
    Thanks for sharing things like eating regularly. I think sharing your journey is good for all! I am a breast cancer survivor who had both breasts removed. I shower at our local pool in the nude and it is not to be an exhibitionist, but one or some of the women or girls in that shower area will one day face cancer and I hope they remember that women do live after the fact. Thanks for your sharing. We all need each other and our experiences. Who knows, but one day one or us will have a stroke and we will remember you, Kate, and think if she could do it, there is hope for me. Thanks, Peg

  8. I enjoy the scenery you share during your walks. The photos are wonderful as always. I was taking my dog, Eevee, walkies this morning and the dandelions are just now coming out and the leaves on the trees are trying so hard to burst out! Have a lovely weekend.

  9. So good to see the spring green isn’t it? May is my favourite month of the whole year – but it seems to passing so quickly this year, here in Durham the dandelions have gone to seed too, and the blackthorn, which was amazingly abundant ( I am trying to remember where they were for sloe gin later !!) is all finished now and the Hawthorn is taking over.
    Love your posts – erudite and entertaining, which so few manage to achieve – thank you for sharing.

  10. Glad you’ve found another tool to help you walk miles and miles and miles and miles! I’ve never had to make such a discovery, as I am such a greedy pig it’s more or less unheard of for me to go three hours without food.

    Love the heron pics – I saw one recently and totally and utterly failed to capture the moment! It was about a mile away before I’d fished out my camera from the bottom of a very packed change bag.

  11. You put all to shame with your mileage and munroes! And I’m very jealous of your hat-trick with the kingfishers. I’ve only ever seen them a couple of times and they are a thrilling sight.

    Good work with the Soreen, most discerning. Fig rolls next?

  12. Kate – You need to add “photographer” after knitter, walker, on your posts. Your pictures are beautiful! I’ll have to look around for the “soreen” you describe. We have lots of hiking “snacks” here, but I have never trie “soreen”.


  13. It’s funny seeing Scotch Broom as pretty. It’s considered an invasion species here as it was brought over and is so incredibly hard to control in our ecosystem – it just takes over! I get the worst allergies from it as well! I get a kick out of seeing it in it’s natural environment though – native plants are the best (when they’re where they’re supposed to be!)

  14. I’ve had to learn (and re-learn, and re-learn) to change my eating habits too. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that often leaves me too tired to move almost three years ago now, and it’s only been in the last 6 months or so that I’ve realized how crucial it is for my body to eat some protein every 2-3 hours. A little bit will do, but my old ways of skipping meals and relying on drinking tea as a meal really must go. Stupid as I know it sounds, it’s really hard for me to remember. A lifetime of erratic eating habits has been very difficult to change – even when the benefits are so tangible.

  15. I totally agree about eating regularly and well- i could talk for hours on this subject – food, that is – although i don’t always practice what i preach .

    I don’t think I have ever seen a kingfisher – you were very lucky. The heron made up for it – we see them regularly but they still give me a thrill.

  16. Have a splendid weekend. Hope the rain that has been making everything lush and green holds off for your walk. It’s lashing it down here in Bolton – lucky I brought my raincoat up north.

  17. Loved the colour of that red smock on you. I do find a synthetic fleece useful when walking because it is lighter than wool for carrying – and I don’t mind using it to sit on, whereas I would not do that to a knitted jumper.

  18. Looks like malt loaf – I have a very pleasant memory of that from way way back in my dim and distant past. Snacks are definitely the way to go! What beautiful photos you have taken. Over here still waiting for the rain again. They have been burning off in the forest – massive plumes of woodsmoke floating through the trees and into your nostrils. Very very beautiful time of year and wonderful for planting after the longest and driest summer ever.

  19. That Speedwell picture is beautiful. So are all the others of course, but the Speedwell has entranced me.
    And mmm… Soreen…. with slabs of butter, you can’t beat it!
    Enjoy your stomping this weekend, I hope it’s not too slippery and wet underfoot.

  20. My! Your recovery walking puts my normal walking to shame! Thank you for all your photos – they make me wish to visit Scotland. I came across the pond in 1991 for a conference, stayed in student residences, and walked up that large round hill behind the halls. But is was September and not as full of flowers. Malt bread? Sounds good but I don’t think we have that here. Have a lovely weekend.

  21. I’ve never commented on our blog before but find it inspiring and uplifting (and I’m lucky enough to own a wool shop so we share that passion!).

    Last summer my husband and sons cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End and, although that was a very different challenge to yours, the need for constant snacking was the same! Having previously dismissed things like hydration salts and energy boosting mixes to put in water my husband, in particular, found they really worked! – to the point that he now won’t get on a bike without some in his water bottle. He, too, lived off malt loaf – brilliant for energy and not too fattening! (In fact – after cycling 963 miles in 13 days hubby had actually put on weight – he likes to think it was muscle!)

    I live in deepest, darkest Cornwall so the south-west coast parth is our yomping ground and, whilst the rest of the country is bathed in hot sunshine we’ve had nothing but cloud and rain for the past week!

  22. For energy boosts while walking, I can highly recommend Your Piece Porridge Bar. Full of oats, pumpkin seeds and honey and very tasty! The name is a bit of a misnomer as they’re not a bar, but actually a triangle of goodness. I’m totally hooked on them.

  23. Sounds good!! I’ve really found I have more energy since starting a low-carb diet. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, but the fatigue (and arthritis) are much improved. I went up to London yesterday and although tiring, I didn’t get that horrendous “crash” afterwards. Dare I hope the post-stroke fatigue is on the way out? I have thought that before, only for my hopes to be dashed, so I’m being very cautious this time! Good luck, and may you have more and more energy as the days go by.

  24. Kate ~ I have found that my dietary needs changed radically in the last 10 years (and that’s about how much older I am I think), and I have gone from very athletic to so-so athletic (plus middleaged and overweight) — now *everything* has changed ! (for instance, I use to live on mostly carbs alone, grains, pastas, all of it, and be able to eat large late meals… no more. I get comatose if I eat too much carbs now, and bloated till I feel I’m going to pop. Now I am thinking about protein all the time, and high plant fats vs low/no animal fats (( did you know that high plant fat diet is very important for neurological function? )) I imagine your experiment is a very worthy one indeed. I really am so happy that you’re discovering a ‘trick’ that might be a simple thing, but will likely really make a huge difference.

    May your trails ahead be one magical discovery after the next, and not all toads (though I personally love toads.).

  25. Luv the pictures, especially the Heron.
    We had a Blue Faced Heron here for years, this was his area, before we built the house. he used to march around the house admiring his reflection in the windows, and pecking them. We named him Derek, he still flys over honking/calling now and again. They are really friendly, but wary. We put a mirror out for him, and the ballet performance was beautiful as he circled the tripod and mirror, and spead his beautiful wingspan and flew over it, then around again.
    He thought there was another heron in the mirror.
    We had to remove it as he spent too long there; he had gotten to the point of scratchily poking his long heron leg quickly in behind the mirror, then darting around the back to see if he had scared the image out of the mirror.
    It showed that he had quite innovative problem solving skills, for a heron lol
    You will definately feel better with some snacks, with all that walking.
    Keep well, and thank you for sharing your activities.

  26. if someone walks 5-6 miles in the US they are called an exercise nut-I’m not kidding. You my girl are doing amazing things with your walks.

  27. It’s amazing how the most obvious things, sometimes, aren’t, isn’t it?
    If you want to have a steady flow of energy, you must have a steady intake of fuel (not that I like to think of food only as fuel, but you see what I mean). I get crabbit if I don’t eat reguarly which is more of a problem for those around me. However, it doesn’t happen to often as I like food too much to forget to eat!
    I’m so glad you’ve found a way to continue your walks, and are striding out all over!

  28. Yum, Soreen. Food of champions.
    The tunic in your previous post is lovely. I look forward to the pattern. Out of interest, how is your Kaari holding up? Your version prompted me to buy the pattern book but I still haven’t got round to actually making it…

  29. Oh. My! Soreen! I can’t believe I’d forgotten about tasty, tasty Soreen.

    Now I know what to tell people what I miss about the UK – chewy, earthy, spread-thick-with-butter Soreen!

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)