A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS

Digging the Time Away

I am currently without my tandem engine (Pete) as his knee requires much rest. This means that I’ve had to content myself with other activities. These have included:

  • Catching up on television, especially programmes featuring scenery (not at all desperate!)
  • Planning trips for when we are able to venture out again
  • Driving to places with a view, whilst keeping an eye out for possible tandem routes
  • Not being sure whether to be glad that the weather has been so awful that we might not have got out anyway
  • Making enquiries about local archery clubs
  • Wondering if I dare enquire about horse riding
  • Reading, if possible, sitting on the doorstep
  • Gardening

These last two activities are my stand by’s for getting a little fresh air, even if I can’t otherwise venture far. I’m often pleasantly surprised how much better I feel just for sitting on the doorstep, my nose barely outside, with a good book and a warming cup of tea.

I also enjoy pottering about, doing a little gardening. I’m not very good and have made plenty of mistakes over the years but really like the feel of my fingers in the soil. I’m equally happy planting or weeding, just so long as I can get my fingers dirty!

I mainly just tend the little patch at the front of the house, which is plenty for me. I am constantly amazed at how a little digging with trowel and hand can have a hugely disproportionate effect on my ability to walk. The plus side is that I have to take it all very gently, with lots of rests to admire my efforts, then a particularly long rest to enjoy my achievements (the tiny “lawn” cut or the edges weeded), preferably whilst supping a mug of tea.


Another advantage of getting outside to tend the garden is that I often bump into a neighbour, or nod hello to walkers as they pass by along the nearby footpath.

So I have been delighted by the recent couple of days of fine weather. I have cut the grass so that the bluebells (well, we’ve acquired whitebells and pinkbells for some reason!) and grape hyacinths that have nestled in amongst the grass are now visible. I’ve also planted out the geraniums that survived overwintering indoors (only two deaths – not bad for me!) I have chatted to neighbours and have agreed with everyone who walked past how lovely the weather has been. And I’ve enjoyed that very tired feeling after having finished as I know it’s from doing something fun and outdoors!

I’m also waiting to hear back about archery …



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