Monday, 7th February, 2022

[Day 693]

Today being the start of a new week is always the time for a sort of ‘mini-resolution’. Mine is to keep a careful watch upon my weight and I need to nudge my BMI from a shade over 27.0 to something in the range 25.0-27.0 The BMI is not a particularly exact diagnostic measure but it is in very wide use and is the sort of statistic that is computed and used in medical records when you attend a ‘Well Person’ clinic and for this reason alone may be worth keeping an eye upon. Having said that, I have lost ¾lb since I last weighed myself which is always reassuring so with a good start, I am resolved to keep the carbs off and the protein sufficient. The official Department of Health advice is to keep red meat at the level of 70g-90g a day. For those of an older generation, 70 grams is about 2.5oz which is a pretty small quantity when you think about it.

It was an overcast but not particularly cold day today so Meg and I decided to make a full round trip which means collecting the newspaper, calling in at Waitrose for one or two things and finally getting to the park for our coffee. We did not anticipate meeting many of our usual park acquaintances as it was a Monday and the park is usually bereft of its normal clientele at the start of the week. The dogs continue to bound towards us, of course, expecting ‘crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table’ and their owners are typically effusive in their apologies for the presumed poor behaviour of their family pets. Then we made our way home and cooked lunch at the normal time for us.

After lunch, I engaged in a certain amount of tidying up of paperwork and consequent filing – one little interesting dilemma is where and how to file an invitation to renew our holiday insurance. I am not sure whether I paid for any last year but I may have done two years ago and it would be an act of faith to do so now. Once our way becomes clear as regards holiday destinations, we will consider whether to renew a bit nearer the time. Again, as part of my ‘new week’ resolution I thought I would resurrect my ‘stepper’ routines in order to increase my exercise quotient somewhat – a stepper being a type of low plastic bench upon which one steps up/down to engage in the exercise. In the past, I have used a particularly good (appropriate) stepper routine created by a youngish American instructor called Kelly-Anne. Actually, I think she is very good because she has tried to make her routines demanding but not too demanding and suggests that you adapt the routines if you want to reduce impact on joints e.g. by stepping up/down instead of jumping up and down. I knew that I had a shortcut link to this particular video on YouTube but as I have not used it for months, I couldn’t quite remember what it is. I did manage to find my link though – it contained one capitalised letter which is why I found it difficult to remember in the first place but after about 15 minutes of searching I managed to find it. I always change to wear my ‘track suit bottoms’ which I also use for Pilates as I find there is a powerful psychological effect at work here. I suppose it is the adult equivalent of changing into ones gym kit when you are at at school as once you do this, you are in the right mindset to engage in exercise. It is only 15 minutes in length but sufficient for you to feel a little out of breath and in need of a long drink and a sit-down afterwards. No doubt, if I keep up this regular routine, I will slowly increase my fitness level and it will become a tad easier day by day.

As a society, we are now starting to see how the NHS can respond to all of the conditions in the population that have not been treated due to the pandemic. The Labour Party has conducted research that indicates that in the case of cancer treatment, the wait between seeing your GP and seeing a cancer specialist is now about 13 times higher than before the pandemic. Because of the often fast-developing nature of cancer, these delays to treatment ultimately mean that many people die who would not if the NHS was able to treat them as quickly as they were 10 years ago. This is quite a scary statistic once you start to digest the implications of it. Today was meant to be the day when the NHS was due to announce its post-pandemic recovery plans but at the last moment, it looks as though the Treasury are denying the appropriate funds and hence the principal announcement was pulled. There are some people arguing that the politics of skulduggery is at work here, the Treasury (under the control of Rishi Sunak ) being unwilling to hand Boris Johnson the propaganda coup that would result in the NHS being handed the necessary extra billions of £s that are undoubtedly needed.