Pleurisy and a new resolve


I am writing a daily blog (Monday to Friday)  on preparing spiritually and physically

to lead a Pilgrimage of 100 miles in September.

for details of the Pilgrimage, click on the dropdown Cotwold Pilgrimage bar at the top of this page 


WEEK FOUR already.

Time for a checkup.

Yesterday was decidedly a non-exercise day.

The Vicar has been feeling poorly all weekend – no energy and some chest restriction and pains.  I felt I needed to keep him company so after leading at the 8am Communion service and helping with the 9.30am Communion service, I flopped on to the next-door sofa to him – and read and read and read. Anne of Green Gables: it’s the book for my Book Club this evening. (#happinessproject Book Club reading children’s classics post:

Not many steps on the pedometer yesterday then. We don’t even have to go out of the front door to get to church: which in such wet weather is really quite a bonus. Apart from that, living in/over the shop (ie church) does not have many advantages.

* * * *

The Vicar has been to see the doctor this morning, and was sent immediately for various tests and checkups at the hospital.  It would take the morning; I drove him there, and headed off to Brent Cross, the nearest indoor shopping centre.  And there, I paced up and down and round and about, feeling quite American in my trainers and determination to put steps on the pedometer.

A good place to walk in such Noah weather.  Not sure others appreciated the sense of pace and speed as I sped around each level.  3,000 steps clocked in a short time.  But I fear I will need to venture out into the storm that is the current British summer if I am to do another 7,000 today.

Most days last week I managed at least 8,500 which is the target set for me on my Fitbug online pedometer. And a couple of days were a minimum of 10,000 and Monday was 12,000+  having walked the hilly golf course.

I am also trying to ensure I do at least one hill, up and down – we fortunately live at the top of a steep hill; or escalators on the Underground make a good way to run up and down.

Then there’s the PowerPlates at Movers and Shapers.  I am going three times a week  - half an hour sessions each time with an instructor putting us through our paces.  They promise that if you attend twice a week for six weeks, you will be in good shape. It's definitely coming.

So, there is definite improvement.  I can walk briskly up the two flights of escalators at Highgate Station with hardly any difficulty – a huge advance in three weeks. And the powerplates sessions are beginning to have the desired effect.


There is a big but.  All that exercise together with some other things going on right now have led to an increase in eating. The more I try to eat less and eat better, the more I crave chocolate rich tea biscuits and digestives and other unsalubrious carbohydrates.

The scales are either lying or I have actually put on weight.

Eating is such an easy way to try to cope with stress and depression.

But it’s not the best way.

Time for drastic action.


* * * *

Meanwhile, the poor Vicar has been diagnosed with viral pleurisy and told to rest.  He is looking very sorry for himself, understandably so.  Not much going out in this weather for him.

I shall be his nurse for a while, I think.

* * * *

Resolve: to continue the exercise – walking lots, powerplates, up and down hills and escalators.

Resolve: to cast my cares upon the Lord and not try to find solace in the biscuit tin.  HE alone can rescue, He alone can save. HE alone can lift me



A God-given, God-inspired, God-led shape

Preparing for Pilgrimage: WEEK ONE


I’ve been in the States for just over a month – mostly holiday but some work.  And I have done very little exercise. I’ve walked a bit, often on the beach. Carried the three year old grandchildren on my back (not both at the same time I hasten to add)  bounced the littlest grandchild on my lap thus developing the arm muscles (he’s a hefty little chap) bent to load and unload the dishwasher countless times – does that count as ab work?

A month off from the gym though; and from hills – the South Carolina coast is not named The Low Country for no apparent reason.

And I have eaten to my heart’s content: made blueberry pancakes for breakfast (one cup of mixture to one cup of water) baked oatmeal and raisin cookies with the older grandchildren (add one egg and one stick of butter) consumed crabcakes and apple pie and icecream … wine in the evenings and coffee with 'half and half' in the mornings …

Four months, or sixeen weeks, tomorrow, I shall be leading the Cotswold Pilgrimage.  One hundred miles of walking, over just six days, on the steep Cotswold Escarpment, from Chipping Campden to Bath Abbey.  And not just physical leading; the spiritual leading comes too – daily prayers and meditations as we walk, talks each evening. Twelve American or British women depending on me not to lead them off track.

I need to prepare, to be ready, to be in good shape.  I’m in good shape – for the shape I’m in.

But there is, must be, can be, a better shape.

A God-given, God-inspired, God-led shape.

So I began this morning. And decided to write a daily blog on my progress – so that you can keep me accountable!  Keep me accountable physically and spiritually, as I take time with the Lord, walk up and down our hilly road, cut down on the caffeine and sugar and alcohol.  Lose eight pounds and tone up.

Keep me accountable as I pray and read and walk and write.

Might you join me in over the next 16 weeks?  It’s quite a challenge so let me know your thoughts and comments and helpful suggestions as we go along this road together!

Oh, this morning so far: only one cup of coffee, lots of water, an instructor-led half an hour on the power plates at the gym, and a quick jog down and then back up the steep hill on which we live.

Still to do? Another 8,000 steps minimum, daily Bible reading (Guthrie’s Reading God’s Story, a year’s reading through the Bible in chronological order) and more water and more protein.

Here goes; will you join me?