Lockdown Fitness Day Two – A New Bike
Saturday 11th April dawned clear and sunny as we prepared to leave the farm for the first time in twenty-four days. I could feel butterflies jumping in my stomach at the thought of going out among people again. But it had to be done. We were running low on supplies – and we were going to pick up a new folding bike while we were at Sainsbury’s. I’d been wanting to get back into cycling for ages. Today we were going to make it happen.
First though it was time for Marley Dog and breakfast. The wooly one helps enormously when it comes to making a healthy start to the day, and we had settled into a good morning routine these last three weeks.
As soon as we were dressed, rain or shine, it was time for Marley’s morning walk. Two times round our periphery path, and then Marley Pup was attached by a long lead to the gate into the huge back yard. Then Jay wiped down the living area surfaces, and put any washing on, while I made breakfast.
We’ve got a simple breakfast that has become a firm favourite in our home. It’s packed full of healthy, tasty ingredients, quick and easy to make, and keeps us full up for hours.
Seeded Porridge with Fruit & Nuts
Ingredients: (per large serving)
60 g rolled oats
10g mixed seeds
30g mixed nuts
30 g blueberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ( or to taste)
200 mls water
Using a nonstick pan it’s incredibly simple to make. Simply put all the ingredients in the pan, stir, and cook over a medium heat until thick and hot all the way through. It only takes a few minutes.
I like my porridge really, really thick, so if you like a thinner, creamier version you’ll want to add more water. You can also replace the water with milk if you prefer. And add sugar or honey for more sweetness. But we find the cinnamon and fruit gives plenty of sweetness and flavour – while keeping it really healthy.
We vary the fruits sometimes, and we’re not using blueberries just now, because they’re harder to keep and clean. You can play around with it to suit your personal tastes.
A 200 ml glass of orange juice coffee with oat milk, and a banana and we’re good to face the day. This breakfast is a whopping 740 calories, but health experts say it’s really good for your heart health. And we really do find it sets us up for the day, and leads to us eating less calories overall without feeling hungry.
Breakfast over and it was time to hit the supermarket. We thought maybe things would be busier with it being a Saturday, but the drive in to Stirling was almost eerily quiet. A handful of other cars, a few cyclists, and as we got closer to town the odd couple or family out for a walk on the cycle paths.
We’d planned on going into Sainsbury’s with a trolley each. Jay to fetch the bike from the Argos click & collect counter, and me to get the food shopping. But when they saw us walking up to the queue together we were politely told only one of us was allowed in the store.
Jay struggles to find things in a supermarket at the best of times. So off he went to pick up the bike, and then we headed a bit further into town to get some groceries from Tesco’s. The queue was a bit longer here, and my nerves went into orbit when the man in front of me spat on the road at his side. Thankfully I’d left about three metres between us, and had seen it happen so was able to avoid standing in it. I called to the people behind me to warn them to watch their feet and carried on inching forward in the queue.
Inside there was mostly plenty of room to avoid people in the one way system. Sometimes people forgot and brushed past each other a little too close. But almost everyone was trying to remember. Trying to keep their distance. That sense of surrealism that had left us in the long, peaceful days on the farm came flooding back. But almost everything we needed was in stock. I filled the trolley as quickly as possible, and fled back to the car, feeling grubby and unclean.
Shopping done and we made the most of the drive back to the farm. It did feel good to be on the road again – even if it was in our son-in-law’s borrowed car and not our poor, broken Iggy. We’d left Marley at home and she must have wondered what was going on when we drove off without her. That had never happened before!
Jay got busy putting the seat and mudguards on the bike, and blowing up the flat tyres. Our granddaughter Hope was delighted to see us messing around on a bike and after racing me around the garden a few times she and Jay got to work on their stunt moves. There were no more excuses for us now. A nice, almost flat, private one kilometre track to practice on. We’d start at half a circuit a day, and build our creaky thigh muscles back up slowly. Oh it felt good to be on a bike again!
All too soon our cycling was over for the day, and we all set out for a few turns round our track. The farmer had brought the first set of cows back from over wintering in their barns. Spring was truly here, and whatever else was happening in the world young things still played in the sun. Taking their turn on this wonderful place we call Earth.
For a while we let go of all our grown up worries, and picked rocks and pine cones for painting and treasure. Hung over the bridge and scrunched noses at the muddy waters of the burn. Picked five different daffodils for a little girl to gift to her mum.
From Hope. With Love…