Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Those of you who follow my life so carefully (I realise that's probably only me!) will remember that I decided in January to aim for a few goals this year. (New Year New Me)
The first of these was walking and walking whilst carrying, well I can walk a short distance, but still only when my body is ready to do it, I couldn't jump up at a moment's notice and get a pint of milk from the local shop. That also mixes with the carrying part of it, I'm not carrying, I've tried, I can manage a light rucksack with my glasses and keys, but even yesterday I tried to visit friends with a small bag and could really feel the weight pulling my arm, it unbalanced me, so a light rucksack occasionally it will continue to be.

My biggest goal, and greatest desire was to get in the garden again. We have eaten veg from the garden before and I always helped achieve this when I was a child. Gardening was the weekend, the weekend was gardening. My Dad would be up at the crack of dawn, and if it wasn't a DIY project in the garden it was digging or chopping or sowing, Mum would be organising our lunch and shopping in the morning then everyone piled in the garden in the afternoon. When we weren't raking up the lawn with our bikes/cricket bat/ football/skipping rope, we were helping.
So I have been managing this. A story I read last year about a man who followed his ME recovery by building a shed (5 minutes a day or 2 hours, depending on his health) really encouraged me. I could weed a 3 metre square vegetable patch that was covered in buttercup, stinging nettles and brambles and more importantly do it by myself.
I have done it, over four weeks and the fact that I have friends who could have done it in one afternoon With the goal of 'one square foot at a time' I am thrilled at the prospect of finishing sometime this week, ready for the injection of plants next Tuesday. (My organic veg-box scheme is doing a plant box scheme this year, so most things, other than salad leaves and radishes etc, will come as plants instead of seeds and cut out a lot of work for me.)
So different to walking, but I thought it was the same...If I couldn't walk I couldn't do gardening.
I stand up and dig for 20-30 seconds, I kneel down and rummage through the soil for weeds and roots for 4-5 minutes. Then after fifteen minutes or so I sit and relax, watch the garden, listen to the birds (or the building site 30 metres away!)
I've also managed other small jobs in the garden in this time too, digging a bramble out if I've five minutes to walk around the garden in the afternoon and fancy a job. I've been out with the secateurs instead of going for a walk.
Last year I created strict rules for myself as my body was so weak and unable to manage jobs like these. That was right then, but I still had all the impulses, I saw all those jobs that needed doing. I have learned now to walk around the garden, see a quick job and ask myself whether I'm feeling able to do it, or if I feel more like last year and need to leave it for another time. The great thing about leaving it for another time is that I can sit on our bench or lie on the grass and (currently!) enjoy the sun!