Skippity Do Dah... And a Farewell

The weeks of being surrounded by roads masquerading as rivers or ski-runs have blown away my training schedule for the Llanelli half in March. We left the nearest gym when they doubled the membership fee, but let the equipment fall apart. It’s not much fun jockeying for the last working running machine only, should you manage to set foot on it, to be circled by folks tutting and sighing if you dare to use it for more than five minutes. Mind you, since we can’t get out the road it wouldn’t really matter if we had a fully-equipped free gym with a bank of running machines, I still wouldn’t be able to use them.

In the meantime I’ve taken up skipping; I bought the rope some time ago in Lidl, fondly remembering how much I liked skipping when I was a little girl. Desperate to get some exercise, I dragged it out again. After two minutes I was totally knackered and my calf muscles felt as if they’ve been cut in half! Sheesh! I’m now up to a very hard won fifteen minutes, but I shall be quite relieved when the thaw comes and I can start running again.

‘You do know hotels in New York are full of bedbugs,’ says Ma. I refrain from reminding Ma that her eldest grandchild picked up ringworm during a school trip to a field centre in deepest, darkest Surrey. In any case, Lily, who did Camp America, managed to travel extensively in the States without bringing any little friends home with her so I can’t say I'm particularly alarmed. Ma tries a different tack, ‘Which airline are you flying with?’ I tell her it’s the same airline the underpants bomber used. There is a slight pause then Ma declares, ‘Well, that’s what you get if you go on these cheap package tours.’

And finally...
I was very sad to read, this morning, that Jessica Wales, who received an eleventh hour transplant of new lungs just after Christmas, died yesterday. I never met Jess, but the reason I feel so sad is that I know, through meeting Gorgeous Girlf and her sister, Emily how differently the outcome could have been if Jess had received her transplant a bit sooner, before she became quite so ill. My sincere condolences go to Jessica’s family.

For anyone who would like to find out more about the NHS Organ Donor Register, you can read the facts here.

Painting is 'Autumn Horizon' by Tom Tomos


Flowerpot said…
Our snow has all gone thankfully, but I admire your skipping - what a brilliant idea! On the down side, how sad about Jessica.
Brenda Grove said…
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Brenda Grove said…
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Preseli Mags said…
Sad to hear the news about Jessica.

I'm not running either, needless to say. I'm doing wading through deep snow in wellies today! I can't see you or the hills today - they're doing the 'first there is a mountain, there is no mountain, then there is' thing again.

Bring on spring!
LittleBrownDog said…
Well done with the skipping - I hear it's very good exercise, although don't trust myself to put it to the test, what with my co-ordination and my son's embarrassment levels about any vaguely noticeable activity I might attempt already being sky high.

Well, I would have thought that the airline used by the underpants bomber would probably be the world's safest airline at this time, cheap package tour or no - your mum really is priceless! Perhaps we can get together and send both our mums off together on a cheap package tour somewhere one of these days. I'm sure they'd get on like a pair of underpants on fire (or perhaps that's a poor choice of analogy...)

So sorry to hear about Jess, especially after all she and her family must have gone through recently. Very sad news.
Well, as you know, I visited NYC last November and I can report that I did not discover any evidence of bed bugs. We stayed in the 'New Yorker' on Eighth Avenue and would recommend it.
Also we travelled 'United Airlines'the airline in question, I believe and lived to tell the tale.
I also have a skipping rope - yet to be fully used. I keep taking it to France and bringing it back still in it's bag. I can't find enough space here in the house to use it. But one day . . .
I'm sorry, Chris, but it was me who TWICE had to delete my comment because I was using a different Google Account.
No sorry - it was Northwest Airlines - I'll get off your blog now.
Pondside said…
Please leave enough room on that package tour for Mums so that I can send mine too............there are days!
I'm very impressed at your determination to stay in shape - but not enough, I guess, to get my own skipping rope and follow your example.
Pipany said…
No snow here Chris, but I do asmire your energy! Skipping indeed!! x
bradan said…
I have a skipping rope and do skip sometimes but for not for 15 minutes!! How on earth do you manage to keep going for that long? I guess it's because you're already so fit.

I too was saddened to hear about Jessica, so hard for her family.
ChrisH said…
Fp, I hope our snow goes soon too, going stir crazy, but all unimportant after this morning's sad news.

Mags, seconded! Can't wait to get out there.

LBD, yes, I fear that there might indeed be some sort of spontaneous combustion if our mothers met, not at least around our ear regions!

Rosie, I'm so pleased you told me who the mystery deleter was. Now go and do a few skips, you'll love it and it will shake off any secret bed bugs that might have hitched a lift back from NYC (!).

Oh good, Pondside, the mums will have quite a party. Let's hope they have enough to talk about (!!).

Pip, believe me I admire your energy; I'd rather skip than knit so couldn't do half the things you manage!

Bradan, the secret is to plug your headphones in and just go for it! Knackering but strangely addictive.
Cottage Garden said…
Such sad news about Jessica.

I'm impressed by your 15 minutes of skipping Chris - you are one fit lady!

You must be looking forward to your New York trip, despite your mum's priceless logic!

Jeanne x
gaelikaa said…
I am so sorry to learn about Jessica's death. She was indeed a lovely girl and you're doing a great job creating awareness about organ donation.

I've not been visiting much owing to preoccupation with family affairs, but I am officially back at it again, so I look forward to catching up with you. I wish you a belated happy new year. One of the nicest things about last year was finding your blog.
Debs said…
I'm so sorry to hear about Jessica's death, so very sad.

Well done with the skipping rope, I'm sure I'd probably ended up tying myself in knots somehow.

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. My mother-in-law said it was dated and didn't like it at all, but I loved it and the rest of the family did too. No bedbugs either.
I think I quite fancy a trip with the batty mothers -
I'm itching well now - thanks Chris.
So sorry about Jessica.
I think I quite fancy a trip with the batty mothers -
I'm itching well now - thanks Chris.
So sorry about Jessica.
elizabethm said…
Skipping? you have to be joking. You bounce when skipping. Even running is more appealing.
I have been reading you for long enough to know that your mother is marvellous so she is allowed the odd attack of awkward.
I am very sorry to hear about Jessica.
CC Devine said…
Skipping is hard! It kills my hamstrings and I can barely do it for a couple of minute so 15 is impressive.

Terribly sad re Jessica.
mountainear said…
Used to love skipping at school with lovely heavy ropes. Best of all was when, with a long rope turned by two girls, the whole class would run and skip through. The rope would slip-slap on the playground. It had a great rhythm - I think maybe we sang 'Blue bells, Cockle shells, eavi-ivy over...'

Very sorry to hear about Jess - I followed her story on Facebook. What a trouper.
Fennie said…
Late as always and the snow has melted so you are probably pounding the tracks again. Don't lose the skipping rope though. (I keep asking myself whether I ever skipped? I suppose I must have done sometime in those deep recesses of childhood but clearly not so that anyone would notice). The rope with its handle could be just the thing to trail behind you when you are chased by ferocious beasts in farmyards, or used as a species of binary bolero (what is it those gauchos throw?).

The underpants bomber (or his masters) evidently didn't have much imagination. (Well you can't really be imagining much I suspect if you are about the blow yourself up). But just think of the havoc you could wreck if you imported a caseload of bedbugs and distributed them around the hotels of New York. The legal suits that would surely follow would make people's eyes water!
ChrisH said…
Jeanne, I think the weather has made me look forwards to the trip even more... it's the fear of having it all taken away because we can't get there. Fingers crossed!

Gaelikaa, my condolences to you and your family on your sad loss. We've had a hectic time here, although in a much happier way, so I've been very pushed for time. It's good to see you back. I hope you get some time for yourself now.

Debs, very pleased to hear more reports of a bedbug free zone! Glad you enjoyed your trip, I'm really looking forwards to mine.

SBS, well if you go on that trip make sure you take plenty of booze. I can recommend it as a way of blurring the edges a bit when mothers are about. (I am I allowed to say that in cyberspace or will the alcohol/mummy police come knocking on my door?). Hope you've had a good scratch now!

Elizabeth, ah go on, try it! It's fun! Well, yes, you're right about Ma... she can be a bit testing when she puts her Naughty Head on, but then so can I.

CC, hope all is well with you now. The hamstring bit does get better ... why I keep doing it I don't know, though!

Mountainear, yes that's right. I loved all those old skipping rhymes... unfortunately I'm too out of breath to sing and skip now!

Fennie, I did laugh at your suggestion but since I cannot throw anything to save my life I could probably end up strangling myself. I'm not going to make any comment at all about importing bedbugs... I would like to get into the country you know!!
Frances said…

So looking forward to your visit!

The skipping sounds great ... you are so fit that it's surprising that switching to skipping would reveal some muscles that had been resting.

Cait O'Connor said…
I admire your energy Chris, send some eastwards.
Helen Ginger said…
It'll be interesting, once you're back on the road, to hear whether the skipping got you into better condition than a stationery bike would have. Very sorry to hear about Jessica.

Straight From Hel
ChrisH said…
Frances, we're counting the days - not long now!

Cait, you've got lots going on up there - enough to keep you busy!

Helen, I managed a six mile run this week and felt strong... fingers crossed!

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