This is the fourth part of a new series entitled Ronny Allan: Living with Neuroendocrine Cancer during COVID-19 restrictions.
During my self imposed isolation of 14 days after developing “a new and continuous cough”, I documented almost daily during this period but only on my public Facebook page entitled “my 14 day self isolation diary” – I compiled it here – click here to read.
In the first update of this series, I explained that I kept my diary going, but again, only on my public Facebook page, so I was prompted to document these on my blog site to cater for those not on Facebook who only see what I produce in blog format. But it’s my intention to also post these on my other public Facebook sites. Because I was self isolating, Chris was also isolating under the rules and she was also feeling under the weather. During our self isolation period, the government ordered a “lock-down” (a bit like the shelter in place term used in USA) but out of self isolation, we were still allowed out for some exercise and other essential trips such as doctors appointments and shopping for essential items. See below for links to all 12 episodes.
A story of bikes, ponies, wisteria and Vitamin D
16th Apr 2020. After my broken tooth issue, I found myself wanting more natural Vitamin D so we decided to add pedal power to our normal walks. It was a bit cloudy this morning but still mild (that said, the sun is breaking out now). We’ve had electric bikes since last year but due to an extended period of bad weather combined with the COVID crisis (which annoyingly brought great weather), we’ve not had as much use as we had planned. Today was probably our third outing in 4/5 months. We were out for the government recommended 1 hour and I suspect we did around 6-7 miles with some hilly bits to need the ‘engine’. The second half of the journey was right on the edge of the New Forest – one of the UK’s national parks.
The New Forest is located in the south of England stretching from the western outskirts of Southampton to Ringwood/Bournemouth where we live. It has 61 ancient monuments, 634 listed buildings and 18 conservation areas within it’s boundaries and Chris and I have just about walked or cycled most parts of it. It’s only called ‘New’ based on the declaration of its national park status in 1999. Its origins go back to 1079 when an area of some 150 square miles was declared a royal hunting ground by King William (…the conqueror).
This Forest is famous for its wildlife, particularly ponies and vast swathes of it are not really forest, more like open gorse terrain (which I can tell you from my younger days in Orienteering, is a bugger to run across!). Here’s a pony we spotted, one of a couple of dozen on our travels. You’ll note this one has a ‘glow in the dark necklace’ as they have a habit of crossing roads unannounced and very often standing in them. Some were being killed at night which is really sad. Around 3000 wild ponies live in the new Forest wandering freely.
Looking at those chubby cheeks, I need to get out more. However, I’m fairly sure it’s the strap on the helmet pushing my skin up
19th Apr 2020. The sun is back so today a 4 mile walk to top up vitamin D. I take supplementation equivalent to 400% of my recommended daily intake but who knows how much is actually reaching the target? Plus the walk has other benefits to body and mind. I also spent a couple of hours trying to figure out an enhancement to my website – getting somewhere but not far enough to declare success (more on that later).
On the way round, we stopped off to drop in a laundry bag Chris made as a donation to help nurses who currently don’t have time to carry out simple things like their own clothes washing – so a good cause. We saw a few people on our travels but everyone is being really sensible with distancing, most opting for a simple nod to avoid getting into conversation.
This time of year brings out colour and there are so many nice things to see when walking around the edges of the town both inside and outside property and in the countryside. I’m not a gardening person, but I do like looking at the product of Christine Allan’s hard work throughout the year. This wisteria was here when we moved in but it does need some maintenance. Regular as clockwork, it blossoms early to mid April.
Stay safe all!
21st Apr 2020
Warm day today, almost donned shorts! A 4.5 mile walk completed and Chris picked up a couple of bits of shopping in a farm shop on the way – they didn’t have the chicken we wanted so we got ginger cake instead
Circled around using parts of the disused railway (Castleman Trailway) and back in via the lakes (we have a few in this area) – nice walk and a way of keeping some distance between others. Lake picture attached.
I’ve been working on reorganising some of my Facebook pages, I had 5 and now down to 3. It would have been down to 2 but Facebook isn’t playing ball so will try again later. I’d like everyone to also ‘Like’ this linked page Neuroendocrine Cancer but please don’t unlike it, I’ve spent some time building that up! And if you know anyone who might benefit from that page and/or this one, be sure to suggest it.
The lockdown has given me some time to look at a new software package I had to help convert my blogsite into a website. I’ve also been working on an A to Z facility and rather than just knock up a big long table which is a pain to keep up to date, I wanted to integrate it into my website where updating is much easier as I can then link to references etc. It’s proving to be more difficult than I thought but I’ve published a prototype version which will be useable for some but it’s far from being a complete project – I need to get the A to Z button ‘widget’ sorted and I need to populate short descriptions which will take weeks. It does however link all my blog ‘tags’ to an article containing a description until I can populate them (although I have done the first few in the list as a prototype). It’s also prompted me to normalise and reduce the number of tags I use – see what I have so far clicking on A to Z – be gentle, it’s the beginning of a new project
Private Group. There’s a constant stream of new members and discussions continue in this Facebook private group (click here to join). The group is quieter than usual but Neuroendocrine Cancer issues continue, people continue to be diagnosed and arrive in need of help – often just someone to listen. London and New York are the biggest two cities represented in the private group and I see them both in the headlines – please take care all.
Many thanks and stay safe
My 12 lockdown episodes
In the first update of this series, I explained that I kept my diary going, but again, only on my public Facebook page, so I was prompted to document these on my blog site to cater for those not on Facebook who only see what I produce in blog format. But it’s my intention to also post these on my other public Facebook sites. Because I was self-isolating, Chris was also isolating under the rules and she was also feeling under the weather. During our self-isolation period, the government ordered a “lock-down” (a bit like the shelter in place term used in USA) but out of self-isolation, we were still allowed out for some exercise and other essential trips such as doctors’ appointments and shopping for essential items.
The second update is nice walk to a local beauty spot and back.
The third update is a potpourri of events including hair issues, broken tooth and my first COVID lockdown injection covering 14/15 Apr 2020.
The fourth update is a story of bikes, ponies, wisteria and Vitamin D covering 16th – 21st Apr 2020.
The fifth update is a story of greenery, sun, adventure and Irrfan
The sixth update is a story of footpath etiquette, sheep, donkeys and dopamine covering 30th Apr – 3rd May 2020.
The seventh update is a story of swans, cycling, VE Day and my 124th monthly cancer treatment covering the period 6th – 11th May 2020.
The eighth update is a story of nurses, trees and Canada covering the period 12th – 17th May 2020.
The ninth update is a story of cream teas, peaks and blue sky covering the period 18th – 23rd May 2020.
The tenth update is a story of the Wall, Swans, Dundee and New Forest History, covering the period 26th – 29th May 2020.
The eleventh update is a story of Walking the Wall, coping strategies and the London Ga68 PET, covering the period 30th May – 5th June 2020.
The twelfth update is a story of surviving, cycling, Scottish holiday memories including the ‘Fairy Pools’, covering the period 7th – 15th June 2020.
Thanks for reading.
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