Sunday, 8 March 2015

Walking therapy

I am definitely starting to feel like I am on the mend emotionally. I still feel my hormones are not right and some discussion yesterday also revealed that the whole oestrogen effect is much different post-op due to the complete absence of any testosterone. There was also a wobbly moment yesterday but it was a shared experience and we got through it with some clever use of Skype and private messaging. 

Earlier in the week, I mentioned how getting out and socialising had helped. Friday was a glorious day and I really felt a good walk in the country would be of massive benefit. I have been doing some short walks since I got out and about and so far I had managed just over a couple of miles. Friday I decided was going to push this a little further and had a good look at the map. Within 5 minutes walk from our front door our several footpaths all in different directions and I found one that could lead to a nice 90 minute circular walk. I packed my new shoulder bag I had bought for just this purpose with a few supplies and set off. 

I walk down our lane towards the village of Pitminster and find the start of the footpath within a few minutes. It starts with a boundary of a ploughed field and then over the first of many stiles. These were interesting when I started walking post-op. For a couple of weeks when I started walking, these were not even a possibility and I kept to the roads. When I did decide to brave stiles, it was tentatively and holding on to anything I could for dear life. Now, they are a great deal easier and not really any great issue although I am still careful.

I traverse a couple of fields, a small footbridge and then back on to country lane for a short stint before in through a gate way and across the middle of a large field. The path was not clear and I was using a scan of an Explorer OS map to keep to where I needed to be. This building in the distance of this photo is Poundisford park, and my return path is over there. The field I am in is quite large and a small pond is over the far end and I see the next stile.

A short distance along the path is yet another stile which leads to a secluded grove. I take a photo of another stile which shows a reminder of a place I once worked. The less said about that the better... 

This grove was quite overgrown to start with and it required a little pushing through. At this point the coffee I had had in town on the morning was taking effect and I was left in a situation of dealing with my first ever call of nature, in the middle of nature! This is something many of us joke about pre-op, about how we can still find a tree or a bush and use what we still have. Suddenly post-op, I am faced with a different reality entirely. I had anticipated this and packed mopping up supplies accordingly so it's unbutton the trousers (yes I do wear them occasionally) and squat down. Nope, that wont work, the angle is going to spray it all over my ankles. I stand up and try to rethink it all but I can see any other choice. I squat down again and decide to lean forward as much as I can. Then I am faced with a problem that I can't seem to go. I need to but it wont happen. It's the stress of trying to discover a position as well as the fear of being stumbled upon. Eventually it does happen, it did go where I wanted it to and I felt quite happy I had dealt with this little demon! A quick dry off with a baby wipe and it's trousers back up and off walking again.

I go over another stile and we are back to fields again. A large military aircraft flies over and I manage to get a picture of it as it does so.I walk further on and after some more fields I am greeted with the sight of the M5 motorway

It's a noisy thing and hard to believe that I can be so close to the beauty of nature with this monstrosity next to me. However, we need these roads so I have to put up with it.

I am greeted by more stiles and then a stream with no footbridge. It's a small affair but has a slippery bank the other side which requires thought given my recovering state. I manage to get myself up and then over another stile before being greeted by a wooded area. This requires some tricky navigation as the path is not defined and more than once I ended up with the way forward being blocked. I get through this and then come across a steel footbridge that goes across it and realise that I have driven under this bridge more than a hundred times and often wondered what the footpaths that led to it were like. Now I have found out! 

I decide that for today, I am not going to cross over and continue across some more field before arriving back at Poundisford park. There is a line of daffodils along the path and in a week they will make for a nice splash of colour against the green of the field. I then pick up the road from before, across a couple fields and then along the road to home. My feet are sore and there is also a blister under one toe which is a sign that my walking shoes are brand new and need more breaking in! I am quite happy though, the weather was gorgeous and the fresh air and exercise has made me feel comfortably tired.

Oh yes, I did also take a selfie which is not so easy with a traditional camera!

P.S. Apologies for the layout of the photo's. Putting this many into a post was a new, and frustrating, experience. I will improve this with time :)


  1. Congratulations on managing such a long walk... and achieving your first rural pee without filling your boots. My Sue is an expert, having accompanied me over hundreds of miles of walks. She says that the trick is not to crouch too much and to point your bottom up as far up as possible.

    1. That advice seems very different to what I actually did. How it sounds though is more of a standing position? I could imagine that may be a little easier and will have to give that a go. It's all good fun!