International Dawn Chorus day

From the webpages of the Wildlife Trusts site this morning…

A celebration of nature’s symphony

Taking place on the first Sunday of May, International Dawn Chorus Day is the worldwide celebration of nature’s greatest symphony. All across the world people rise early to revel in the sweet sound of birdsong, from rattling wrens in Rotherham to crooning cowbirds in the Caribbean. 

And remember you can always just open your window – and listen…

So open the windows and listen is exactly what I did. Living on a boat means we get a huge variety of birds, and even inside we can easily hear them.

This morning the Blackbirds were singing their little hearts out, as were the Chiff Chaffs, blue tits and many others I couldn’t identify. We can almost always hear the raucous calling of the Crows and the chattering of the Magpies, but the highlight of the singing this morning was the Kingfisher on the boat roof. We often hear them, and occasionally see them too, but it was somehow fitting to get a visit this morning.

As well as listening to their songs, I love to try to photograph them if I can, so thought I would share some here, though I haven’t been lucky enough to capture them all!

Heron and Magpie
Crested Grebe
Geese with Goslings
Oyster Catcher
Common Gulls
Blue tit
Mallard ducklings
Little Egret

Of course, just because today is officially dawn chorus day, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it every day! Have a great Sunday.

Monday musings

Doncaster Leisure Centre.

This morning I was able to get back into the swimming pool as the term time schedule is back in place. I only managed 16 lengths or 30 minutes of swimming. Three weeks off really makes a difference, I felt like I hadn’t been for years!

I’m also on day 4 of the keto diet so was feeling a bit lacking in energy.

Keto is basically a low carbohydrate diet, so no bread, pasta, rice or starchy veg, including potatoes. You have to up your protein intake quite a lot too.

Oddly though, in the afternoon I had a burst of energy and started to feel much better. Then this happened.

Keto stick

Keto sticks are for testing urine to see if you are in ketosis, a process where your body starts to use your fat reserves for energy because you are not feeding it easy to use glucose, from carbs. This approach to eating has been shown to be effective in reversing diabetes and lowering blood pressure, which is why I have chosen to follow this diet.

So hopefully swimming will be a little easier tomorrow. Onwards and upwards.

Lazy Sunday – ducklings, tarts and keto.

New family

It’s been a lovely, relaxing Sunday here.

It started perfectly as Mrs Duck brought her new babies by the kitchen window while I was cooking breakfast. I went out and fed them some crumbed bread. Doesn’t take them long to learn that boats mean food.

Today is day 3 of the Fast 800 keto diet and it’s going great so far. Being able to join a Facebook group of other people following the same programme as you can ask questions and get meal idea from others instead of plodding about in the dark on your own. Losing weight is so much easier with support and company. It’s also a huge help that my husband Neil is following it too.

Our son Sam, however, is not joining us on this journey, but he’s a very good cook and thankfully is sorting out most of his own food. I did make him a treat as a thank you today though, his favourite, jam tarts! I haven’t touched even 1!

It started out quite dull and blustery this morning, but it’s turned into quite a nice evening here at Blue Water Marina.

Crunch time!

Me right now

The picture above is me, in all my glory! As you can see, I am obese. I won’t embarrass myself further by revealing the numbers on the scale, but trust me, they don’t make for happy reading, and they most certainly need to come down!

What you can’t see from the picture, but can probably guess, is that I am also unhealthy. I am on medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis. Take my word for it, I positivity rattle. I know that if I lost enough weight, I could reduce or stop all of these medications, so I have decided to start today, and to do regular updates here to keep me accountable.

The Fast 800 programme by Dr Michael Mosley

The Fast800 Keto is the book I have just finished reading and this is the approach I will be using. Restricting the amount of carbs in the diet has been shown to reverse diabetes and obviously restricting calories enough will result in weight loss.

From Monday the swimming pool reopens after 3 weeks Easter holiday timetable, so I will swim 4 or 5 times a week, for at least 40 minutes. I will also try to add more walking in too.

In preparation I have bought some new digital bathroom weighing scales. I will also be measuring my waist, checking my blood pressure and my blood sugar to see if there are any improvements.

I don’t imagine it’s going to be easy, so wish me luck!

A walk in the park

I’ve not been feeling too great over the past couple of weeks, but this morning the sun was out, it felt quite warm, so I went for a walk in the park, camera in hand, and here are the results.

The lake
Beautiful Weeping Willow
Mural in “The Quiet Garden”
Signature on mural
Cherry blossom
I wish you could smell this, it was incredible!
Flower detail
Nosey geese
Staircase to?
Ribes also known as flowering currant
Woodland shadows
Very shiny crow