What makes your day?

Isn’t life sweet when you’re a simple soul? These are some of the little things that have really pleased me in the last few days.

1. Torrential rain.

Rain

Photographed from our window, it’s a sensory experience: the sound, the way the temperature drops and the change it the light. I love walking in a downpour too, but only if I’m on my way home to a shower and dry clothes!

2. Practically perfect pizza.

pizza

Here it is, almost ready. Just a bit more browning on top and crisping up underneath. Especially pleasing as I made the dough by hand, and it was my most successful yet. Light and fluffy inside, crispy on the crust. Maybe a touch more salt for perfection. The garlic butter and parmesan rolls I made with the left over dough were fab too.

3. Bees!

lavender bees

Just love them! So single minded, and they never bother you if you don’t bother them. I was pleased with the photo too, as a quick snap, and just a bit blurry as they can’t be persuaded to sit still and pose.

4. A perfect English summer day.

myddleton house

We were at Myddleton House in Enfield (North London). A great place for people who like plants, kitchen gardens, old walls and stone work and lovely sunny days. I could have pointed the camera almost anywhere and liked the results. And …

5 Grass snakes

grass snake

This one was hunting at Myddleton House. We’d just walked past a pond, and I’d said the conditions were great for snake spotting – and there he (she) was! Head down a hole, and plainly engaged in swallowing something. After several minutes he (she) popped his (her) head out, with just the back legs of a frog still moving a little and sticking out between his (her) jaws. But the speed as he (she, but I’m getting bored with this now!) shot away through the plants and into a hollow log had to be seen to be believed. Poor frog, but what a treat to see. We felt just a little bit like David Attenborough as we snapped away.

What’s your top five from the last three or four days?

Standing up makes you fitter – it’s official

Very interested to hear the item on the radio this morning which said that:

  • the UK is the least fit nation in the whole world
  • you can improve your fitness just by standing up rather than sitting.

The point about standing is that you use many small muscles that aren’t in action when you sit, so they all get stronger. Stand to do as many activities as you can, and you’ll be the better for it. Walk even the last step or two of an escalator, and your health will improve.

This all chimes very well with the subject matter of my Kindle book on walking for pleasure, as my main point is that if people who are unfitĀ can start with just a short stroll every day, choosing a place or reason to walk that will be of interest to them, then they are already on the path to a healthier and more interesting life. Diabetes, heart disease and cancer are all long-term conditions that affect those with fitness and weight problems, so anything people can do to get more active is worth while. And if you enjoy what you are doing, you are more likely to keep doing it!Ā