..but I did have a paddle.
This has been my year of doing things that I wouldn't normally do instigated partly by my having reached the grand old age of 50 last year, but it was also the death earlier this year of someone in the family that pushed me a bit further into doing lots of things. Over the last few years I've been guilty of moaning a lot about things that I can't do and instead this year I've tried, with varying degrees of success, to concentrate on what I am able to do.
So far, I've done some seriously bad watercolours and out of some stuff that is so bad that it's not even funny, I've managed to produce a couple of passable efforts. They were happy accidents rather than anything that came from talent but I'm pleased with them and I enjoyed sploshing paint around.
I've changed my exercise routines and started doing Pilates and Gyrotonics; I still swim and walk but I don't swim anything as much as I used to. Walking is something that I really love – it satisfies my geeky, map side and it's something that I can do on my own or with other people. I get to be outdoors, see the landscapes change through the year along with spotting some brilliant wildlife. So far this year I've seen a stag, roe deer, kingfisher, herons, kites and fieldmice. I've also had an unfortunate run-in with a dog but there was no serious damage just a loss of dignity when I shrieked like a fool. Anyway, I've signed up for a big walk that my husband did last year – 87kms over 2 days – I've got 9 months to get myself ready for it and maybe I'll be one of the last ones up the hill, but I'll have some fun trying.
This weekend I spent the whole of Saturday on the river in a canoe. Despite being a strong and confident swimmer I'm not someone who is comfortable with boats and have always avoided those situations but in my new-found way of doing lots of new things I had to do this. We were invited to join a group of people in our neighbourhood on their annual canoe/kayak tour, picnicking in the day and then to a restaurant in the evening. I had the most fantastic day ever and can't wait until the next time we can do this. I don't know why I was nervous of doing something like this before and now I'm filled with enthusiasm for all the other things that I can do that I was nervous of doing before, although I don't intend bungee-jumping any time soon.