Another Shallilo senior moment

Shallilo has senior moment

Such a small thing, such chaotic consequences. It started life as the metal end of a thread (metal string-tip like the end of a shoelace) attached to my gilet pocket zip fastener. It finished in our rubbish bin until I rescued it. In between times it nestled in the driver's seatbelt buckle, along with the seatbelt tongue. The seatbelt was immobilised. Setting off for choir practice, the thread must have slipped into the buckle before I reached for the tongue and then - click - the deed was done. Those kind men at Suzuki spent an hour retrieving it and no charge.
  You had to be a contortionist to get in and out of the car.


Paul, our man painting the decking, has taken the calling the childbride Shirley?

Shallilo learns about testosterone and grumpiness

Shallilo reads about testosterone and male behaviour

Levels of male hormones (testosterone and growth hormone) decline from the mid-thirties. Matt Roberts in the Times Sat April 13th covers the usual suspects to counteract these changes. So 'working out in the right way' can help you look and feel a good bit younger than you actually are (wrinkles and depression). 
  Readers of this blog will find this as no surprise, but there is some informative detail on some of the strength moves that make a difference. And there is a testosterone-rich diet.
  This hormone decline might also play a role in increased grumpiness, apparently a feature of the older male. Robert Sapolsky in Behave writes about aggression and testosterone, especially when status is threatened. Testosterone does not make people aggressive, it makes 'us more sensitive to social triggers of emotionally laden behaviours and exaggerates our preexisting tendencies in those domains'. 
  In other words if we've been and keep being a stroppy sod, the associated behaviours are facilitated by male hormones, ebbing and flowing in the background. The behaviours themselves began on the savannah in S. Africa, adapted to survive industrialisation, honed on our dad's knee and triggered by activities like competitive sport and polishing the shoulder chip.
  The Times article does not say that increasing hormone levels makes you less grumpy.

Shallilo back on the cut - one way to keep forever young

Shallilo back on the cut - Trent and Mersey

So, back on the cut. Uplands marina (Driftaway holidays) near Anderton and the famous boat lift. Vivien, one of three upmarket boats. This is the decor rather than the performance which was a tad stiff. Marylin and Audrey were the other two, completing a trio of film stars. We had photos of Gone with the Wind on our walls. Our boat starred in the Tim West and Prunella Scales canal series. We are not convinced they ever stayed overnight and one of the marina guys let it slip that their daughter was with them to look after Pro but never appeared on film.
  Setting off was a trial in a vicious crosswind, but the guys helped us out. It hadn't died down on our return, so we parked outside on the Trent and Mersey and waited for support. In fact the wind blew us way off course trying to turn into marina's narrow tunnel entrance. A tad embarrassing, but no one seemed to mind. We had a short relationship with a male swan guarding his mate. No histrionics, just enjoyed being with us.
  First night at Broken Cross. Some of the skills came back and no panics.

Shallilo on the Trent and Mersey

Crew member showing off some locking and drinking in Middlewich, where we parked out and back to and from the Shroppie. Rain through the locks, but other than queueing there were no problems. The steep right hand turn into Wardle was a breeze and nobody watching. The Middlewich arm of the Shroppie has only just reopened following 12 months closure whilst a major breach was repaired. Several smaller boat hirers went out of business, including our memorable stop for electrical help at this now abandoned company. 'Sandra', a trannie if ever, did us proud. Not often you see a female electrician on the cut, even if she was really a man. The boss served us with coffee and toast. Great guys.

Shallilo on the Shropshire Union

Another crew member showing us what he is good at. I learned blowing on the bbq coals from Big Dave, so passed it on. Nice rural mooring opposite Minshull, but no visit to the Badger this year.

Shallilo keeping young on the cut

So to the skipper. Earned his pint this week without a doubt. Managed to rehearse all the skills except one:
  living with being 'a hirer', bottom of the food chain
  it doesn't steer itself
  it doesn't go in straight lines
  parallel parking
  three or more point turns
  mild bumps, usually at lock entrances
  okay to throw coffee grounds in the cut
  not getting away from the bank (poor push from the crew plus physics)
  grounding - good pole skills from the crew
  skirting low branches
  leaving the hose attachment on the water point (don't tell Pete and thankfully retrieved)
  canal rage from a live-aboard who didn't like my speed
  not having a clue going backwards
  a non-hirer asking me if I was stuck in a winding hole when I was waiting for him to pass
The one exception was missing the marina entrance in the wind.
It keeps you forever young.

Shallilo takes a trip down to the river Weaver

And don't forget the eighth wonder of the world - The Anderton boat lift from the Trent and Mersey down to the River Weaver. Salt transport. Built 1875, closed 1983, restored and reopened 2002. Came across a another more modern wonder in Big Lock, Middlewich. We descended in tandem with a hybrid boat. Cut his deisel use in half.
  Short break, but enough especially with the crew drinking all the booze. Lots of people say it's a relaxing holiday. It isn't, but it is so different from normal it empties your brain.

April at Shallilo-foreveryoung - inspiring birthday presents

Guess what we got for our birthdays? A tunnel for the railway and lots of chocolate.

The birds are back nesting on the summer house.

Shallilo-Foreveryoung and March-April events

Shallilo in Spring 2019

A wonky Scarborough Spa, trying and failing to show all the hundreds of rods drilled into the hillside. Aiming to stop South Cliff from slipping into the North Sea. Scheme finishes at the end of 2019 at the cost of £13 million.

Shallilo in Spring 2019

Who is bribing Emily with the chocolate button van? I think we can discern that she has now recoverd from conjunctivitis and upper respiratory infection.

Brian May of Queen complained this week on The One Show that the packaging of McVitie's Chocolate Digestives has gone peculiar. As a fellow devotee I agree. I'm not quite as upset as he is; I can still seal the end of the pack and keep the uneaten fresh. I'm told it was actually plain Digestives but it's the same packaging.

It's getting to that time again when I will have to do some gardening. Gladly we have a man, Paul from No Job Too Small, who is going to paint the decking.

The Times last week contained a piece on how to be clever by Joe Norman, the man who coaches Eton entry - March 30th. For example how to write a story: action, dialogue, description, beginning, middle, end and eavesdrop neighbouring conversations. Simples.
Check out 2 pages later a pic of Jane Seymour - stunning.

Fourstripes bought me a punchbag for my birthday - brilliant. The first time I gave it a good thump, it bounced back and hit me on the nose. When I googled boxing clubs I kept getting dog sites.

Shallilo has a birthday

Guess what else I got for my birthday - care of Louise

We spent the day in Derbyshire at a well-known inland historical port, though the spelling is ambiguous Bugsworth or Buxworth?

The Foreveryoung team take a break in historic York

Another sleepover for Shallilo and the childbride, another inspiring away day

It's always a first quick walk to the Kings Arms, the famously flooded Sam Smith pub down on the Ouse. It was fine and cold so we braved a pint on the water's edge. Our Hotel, Yorvik House, wasn't far, a birthday present from Fourstripes himself - one night, comfortable and very helpful.

Shallilo and the childbride sleepover in York
The Minster is a major attraction. We took a city tour on foot, our guide a guy who had been everywhere or so it seemed. Full of great information, though as usual we couldn't keep up with all the Kings and Queens. The Minster has history which can be found on Wiki. New Mill MVC sang here some years ago now - great experience and day out. On another day, Andrew took me up the tower which I managed somehow.
  The bottom building is the chancery; something to do with housing young priests and money and getting them out of the way, but difficult to find the facts.

Shallilo and the childbride visit York

All the wall bits have names and events, too many for us to remember, though top right, Bootham Gate is the southern end of Dere St which ends in Corbridge, site of our recent visits to Newcastle and Hadrian's Wall. The river trip was chilly but enjoyable. The buildings are the Chronicle, The Guildhall and the Chocolate Warehouse (Rowntrees and Nestle) - now flats. The skipper told us of the rivers that drain into the Ouse and eventually the Humber. The city section of the Ouse was tidal until quite recent - but there is a lock just south nowadays similar to Teddington on the Thames which we discovered during our trip to Hampton Court
  The Derwent starts up north of Scarborough and has a sea cut just there to relieve whatever down near the Humber.
  And thank goodness for the brilliant Oscar's in city centre where we always get lost.

Shallilo and the childbride visit York
The Abbey was to do with Charles I. The middle picture is of a fortified wall around the Abbey. The Kings Manor was home to the Council of the North in the 1500s and 1600s. Once again bemused by the guide's information, but terrific at the time.

Shallilo and the vagaries of becoming a supping ager

Not quite Foreveryoung -  inspiring nevertheless

Further to the post coining a new word for older people who are still trying - not super agers, but maybe supping agers.

I went to the doctor this morning. A request from her to review my 24 hour BP monitor. This is Debrah Rawcliffe, a very able junior in our HRI department on several occasions whilst she was a gp trainee. After some twenty or more years, she claims to be the same weight, but her face has 'drooped' as she put it. But overall still looks in good shape (a squash player who used to dance to 'The Hills are Alive'). And still agreeably spikey.
  Well my bp is just above NICE guidelines and I have a lowish but significant risk of a serious or otherwise cardiovascular event. Largely on account of my age. So statins and bp pill. Whilst you are still healthy, how do you know any intervention is doing you some good? A statistical exercise I suspect. I know my allopurinol is working because I don't have attacks of gout anymore. I don't need my uric acid measuring. This is called common sense. I've never had a stroke or a heart attack, but the numbers suggest I will. This is called nonsense, maybe produced by a number-crunching senior registrar trying to get his MD before climbing the greasy pole. This is probably untrue but I enjoyed writing it.
  I've modified my lifestyle until I'm virtually unrecognisable. I do pilates though Debrah wants me to do Tai Chi for my balance issues - there really is no satisfying some people. I might get a nice stick. I've had to curb the beer-drinking because of poor sleep and headaches - it's not quite tee-total time but it's not far off. Debrah ignored the fact that a I forget names and proper nouns. When I said I was grumpy she replied "That's just you." I think she had me sussed and I thanked her.

So I walked home from the surgery - 4 miles max, but extremely pleasant in warm sunshine. Closed footpaths which were open. Honley CC looked brilliant, the football pitches too. Roundway. Lower Oldfield. New fencing behind which grazed sheep. Reminded me of the 15th and 16th century enclosures when landlords took to profitable sheep-rearing on large farms, thereby reducing common land. This was the start of rural depopulation that culminated in 1850 when more people lived in towns and cities than in the country. I seem to remember from a Melvyn Bragg radio 4 programme that the landlord behaviour was only part of the reason for this migration. Shardlake, the crookback lawyer deals with this in Princess Elizabeth I's era - Tombland by CJ Sansom.
  Netherthong, just up from the Cricketers, a small windmill. It whistled, not unpleasant. Shut Cider Press. And a massive new housing estate. The pub boules pitch could do with a gardener and rust treatment. Over the next hill, a large well-appointed house, grounds and stables with a notice 'Private, please keep off'. Well it did say please. Not a great advert for the wealthy.
  Home for coffee. Back on Taylor's Brazilian.

What am I to do about the doctor's advice?