It’s pouring with rain this morning but I rode my bike anyway. The forecast seems to me to be rarely very accurate and I am glad that this is something the scientists can only confirm what is mostly taking place and cannot influence future weather more than they think they can predict it. My cycling is not to prove anything but follows my pattern for DIY and not just in my craft work but health care too. The weather apps micro-adjust to changes according to the reality outside, even when they predict something that doesn’t happen. That way they can always appear to get it right. Imagine a world where science governs the weather. What a catastrophic thought. That would be like growing trees knot-free and always straight-grained. Imagine! They’d give us MDF trees with pressed fibre or OSB leaves. Industry needs would control it all in the name of research grants and such and we would have no hand tool work in our lives. Nah! But we do need science for a wide range of needs and Ilike the reality that I can take care of much of my medical health via DIY and in tandem with the science of medical health care in a more up to date way than say in my childhood. Back then doctors were seen perhaps as being more god-like whereas today that might be a little less so.
My bike takes care of the needs my at-the-bench work doesn’t handle. Legs locked standing need regular rotary movement along with stretches and compression. My bike still amazes me for the relief I feel mentally and physically when I cycle for a period. Mostly I leave before six and cycle for half an hour first. I look to extend my route to a half hour first and then I DIY my hearty breakfast somewhere between six and seven. I love choosing my vegetables according to my mood and my diet. Everything from fresh mushrooms to courgettes and tomatoes to onion and spinach. Over the two hours from seven til nine I write and keep up with that side of things. This morning the rain was refreshing and my waterproofs kept me mostly dry. It was 6º C and I feel in good shape. Handling my well-being by exercise and diet and working with my hands all day along with mentally designing my work gives me mental and physical acuity I rely on for agility.
Just when I was arriving at my retirement years ten years ago I did wonder what I would do with my remaining life. My life had been so full and yet haere I was at almost 65 feeling as though I was still just 45. Retirement seemed absurd. Things became new when my work revolved around video filming and presenting to include worlwide teaching and training. It’s been different. On my own, I do work differently and there are times when were I to work normally no one would see anything as I drop to my knees on my side of the bench to drive a mallet or plane an end. It’s abnormal to work back to front sometimes but clever videography bridges the gap to look quite natural. but recently I have realised that gaining in years does not necessarily mean you are indeed growing old. I wanted more DIY in taking care of myself now that my family had grown away. Retiring isn’t a period prefacing the inevitable but hands-on working of your body maintenance.
As I cycled to the workshop and the rain poured down I felt a gratitude for everything I had encountered throughout my life and then too all that I would be likely to encounter today. The roads were quiet at 5.30 and the new speed limits of 20mph throughout the UK’s towns and villages, cities and such meant that my 18 miles an hour average made me feel much safer with the 2mph difference. Of course, until lots of speeding fines are dished out there will always be the rebels rejecting any kind of constraint on their lives. 20mph works for me whether I’m cycling, walking or driving. This slowing down of gears is there for the common good of the whole of society. It is yet another form of DIY health care even though there are arrogant who depsise it. A man roaring his engine caused me to turn my head today as I was about to mount my bike.. He rolled his electric window down of his souped up machine and said to me, “Want some bovver, mate?” I walked over to his car and asked him what he said even though I heard quite clearly what he offered. “I’m not sure what you mean.” I said. “Want some bovver? he repeated. I said it wouldn’t look too good if a twenty-four-year old took on an innocent 74 year old and beat him to a pulp but this 74 year old isn’t running away. So, the brave and extreme petrol head left me bewildered in the rain with my bike wondering where that came from and I rode away into the sunset (actually heavy early rain) and the man didn’t bovver me further. Just some more DIY.
Where am I going with this? In a couple of weeks, I will be having some hand surgery on both of my hands. They don’t hurt in any way and my work is not suffering at all but they both have what’s called a Dupytren’s contraction. One contraction is on my left hand ring finger while the other is on my right hand middle finger. The procedure uses a needle to reduce the fibrous sleeve that is preventing my hand from lying flat on a surface and not straightening with the others to open for a grip and such. It will worsen if it goes unchecked and mine began back in 2,000 or thereabouts so I am looking forward to a good and hopeful outcome. Now this is not something DIY even though through my years I have taken care of some critical DIY needs for cures the doctors could not give me. The surgeon taking care of the procedures in my hands has lots of experience dealing with such issues and came highly recommended. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour journey by train to Derby and I will enjoy the non-DIY train ride provided the strikes we are all dogged by here in the UK these days don’t stop things going that way. I cannot do my own hand surgery even though I have taken out a splinter most days for almost sixty years. No! This is not DIY but leaning on the arm of another to take me to better hand health. I am sure some of you out there will realise just how attached I am to these two hands. They have always given me the greatest of pleasure in my treasury of woodworking.
The surgeon said that I will be out of commission for a couple of weeks as I will not be able to grip as I usually do in the day to day. I am ready for the work to be done and I will keep you posted on my progress.