My Physiotherapist suggested that I try to lose a stone in weight in order to help my arthritic ankle (on one side) and my arthritic knee
(on the other side). I have so far lost half a stone (seven pounds) and already feel better for it. Of course this weight loss was 'helped' by having to run up and down stairs during the worst part of the farmer's recent illness.
I also go an an 'Exercise for the over Sixties' class on a Wednesday afternoon. Our tutor, Sue, puts us through our paces for an hour giving exercise to our coordination, our brains and our bodies. Of course we have had a fortnight off for the Easter break and by golly was it hard this afternoon. During the leg work (mostly moving to music) I kept thinking I would have to sit down but I managed to do it all right to the end. And I felt much better at the end of it
(after a sit down and a cup of tea but no biscuit). I am sure it is good for us all, but it does take a certain determination to continue, particularly when the weather is like it is today - cold (six degrees), windy and mostly wet.
Now to clear up something else. The Buttertubs. Several people have asked recently exactly what the Buttertubs are, so here is the explanation. I have written this before but obviously I have new followers who missed it.
Most, if not all, of the Dales in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are separated from the next Dale by high ground. We live on the edge of Wensleydale and the next Dale North of us is Swaledale.
Between the two there is very high ground - and a narrow winding pass. Right at the top of that pass there is a formation of rocky cliffs and deep fissures (they are now carefully fenced off from the road) and these are The Buttertubs, so called because in earlier times farmers' wives who made butter and took it to markets would put any spare butter they were bringing back down these fissures in order to keep it cool for the next week - I am of course speaking of long before the days of refrigerators. And so it is usually called The Buttertubs Pass. The grassy hills surrounding it - moor and quite wild - is where in Summer the hefted sheep belonging to various farmers spend their time grazing. Before they go up there their horns are carefully marked so that when they come down in Winter (it is too bleak up there) it is easy to identify each owner. This practice has gone on for generations. Almost all of these sheep then spend the winter at one or other of the lowland farms (we are only six hundred feet above sea level, which is considered lowland around here.)
The farmer continues to improve slowly, doing a little more each day, but he is not better by any means and is getting subcontractors in to do various jobs which can't wait. He has not been cheered today by a friend ringing him up to tell him that he knows someone who appears to have had the same 'bug' which has lasted for a month!