Counting, counting, counting…

It is 31 steps from the sofa in the sitting room to the bathroom upstairs in our cottage. It’s 82 steps from my desk, down the stairs and out to the shed and back to my desk — we have a small garden. How do I know this? Because I have treated myself to a band I wear on my wrist which logs every single step I take. I am trying not to be obsessed but…

The fact is that being a writer necessitates sitting at my desk for a good part of everyday. I do get out for a walk with the dog but I’m apt to cut it short when I’m stuck into a WIP which at the moment is a novel I have been working on for several years and which I am determined to finish editing (for the tenth time) by Christmas.

I am in danger of becoming obsessed with the grey band and black face that sits on my wrist. My 10,000 steps a day goal eats away at me. Whereas before I could tell myself I’d done enough walking for the day, I now find myself running up and downstairs in the evening just to get the steps up to the point where the dear little gadget vibrates in order to congratulate me for reaching the desired walking distance for the day. It flashes at me, and I smile. Happy. It is almost — but not quite — the same feeling as writing The End.

I know it’s doing me good and I’m hoping that the novelty doesn’t wear off too soon because I must confess to being one of those people who can be enthusiastic in phases, but this time I’m going to try and keep it up. I want to lose some weight and ‘walk’ through my seventies with ease. The dog of course, is delighted with the new gadget as I am less likely to cut her walks short to get back to my WIP. Walking in the country lanes and across the fields is much more pleasant than running up and down the stairs in the evenings — at least it is for the moment. I might not feel the same when the weather is less clement.

Now, I’d better get on with that editing if I’m to hit the deadline of completing that novel. Scrivener tells me I’m at 11,022 words edited so far, only another 68,978 to go! I do have the 80,000 words written, I’m just bringing them over from another manuscript and massively editing as I do.

You can just read the title of the book in the screenshot…look out for it in 2022…

That’s if I can hit my targets…😊

Gym…Grimace…Go for Gold!

I chose these because they went with my outfit!
I chose these because they went with my outfit!

Rejected these because they didn't match my outfit.
Rejected these because they didn’t match my outfit.

I bought the new shoes! I have all the gear including the water bottle and I am now a keen member of the gym or palestra as it’s called in Italian; well I’m a member anyway.

I told my daughter I was going to the gym…’but you hate the gym’ she quipped. I still hate it but needs must. I managed to cajole a friend into going with me – or was it the other way round? We decided that if we committed together we’d be less likely to pull out. She does have about 20 years on me so I’m trying very hard not to be competitive because obviously she’s going to be able to do more than me, more quickly than me and will be fitter than me in a shorter time. Maybe I should stick to being artistic? Too late now…I’ve signed on the dotted.

My Friend's arms, she didn't want her photo taken
My Friend’s arms, she didn’t want her photo taken..you can see she’s younger than me though!

It’s not a bad little set up in Valmir, Petritoli’s valley town and the closest gym to home. Payment was attractive, €25 registration and a special offer of €140 for five months.

Matteo (photo to follow if he allows it) helped us with the registration form, or should I say we helped him interpret the English and Scottish names and places of birth. In Italy it is a standard question to ask not just for your date of birth but also place of birth and they don’t just want England they want the place, ‘Ux-bri-dge’ I repeat for the fifth time, they’ve never heard of it, can’t pronounce it and I cannot imagine why it is so important. You often have to include your Codice Fiscale in any form filling. It’s like your National Insurance number, how many people in England carry that information around with them I wonder? You must carry documents with you in Italy, your ID card and your Tessara Sanitaria (health card with your CF on it). If you don’t have a card then you have to have on your person the tatty piece of paper with your number on it given to you by the local council office. It’s tatty because bits of paper do get tatty when carried constantly in a wallet or handbag.

Anyway, back to the gym. Matteo (photo to follow) showed us around all the equipment, which looked to me a bit like medieval torture apparatus or sci-fi dentist chairs or even birthing beds. I think he felt sorry for us because he took us under his wing and gave us the personal trainer bit for the first two sessions making sure we didn’t hurt ourselves on the machines or kindly giving us some horrendously horrible floor exercises for toning up parts of me that frankly I had forgotten I had!

Thighs and Bums....
Thighs and Bums….

There are only two running machines and these are very popular. We discovered after only one session that there is a rush to grab one of theses as soon as the doors of the gym are open for business. It’s bit like the sun beds on the beach; you notice there is a towel thrown over the handle, bagging the machine while the owner pops off to do something else.

Dentist Chair...
Dentist or Birthing Chair…

Having shown us the ropes, Matteo (photo to follow) is there to guide us and keep an eye on what we’re doing, I’ve manage to watch him prowling the gym and when I think he’s coming close to me I quickly switch up the resistance on what ever machine I’m working on so he thinks I’m being good. I know, I know….only cheating myself but this WAS just the first week after all!

Weights...obviously
Weights…obviously..oh and my foot.just to prove I’m there.