Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Morning walk

After all the rain yesterday everything is a bit wet and muddy around here. The sunshine enticed me out of the house, unfortunately the housework was still there when I came back!

Last year's bramble leaves, bright in the sun

and the first of this years leaves. This is honeysuckle, usually one of the first to brave the cold with fresh green leaves.

The sun didn't stay for long but I managed to capture its reflection before it disappeared behind the clouds again.

I hope they aren't rain clouds, I have so much washing hanging on the line today.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sunshine and steroids

We have had just a single day of sunshine in what feels like weeks of grey skies. It was on Sunday and we decided to go to the coast.

It was one of those perfect, not too cold, calm days, perfect for crunching over pebbles and feeling the gentle warmth of the winter sun.

So thats the sunshine part of the post title, now on to the steroids.

 I now have a name for the mysterious aches, pains and stiffness that I've been moaning about since late spring. It turns out I have polymyalgia rheumatica which is an auto immune disease that causes stiffness and soreness in the muscles of hips, shoulders, arms. The treatment, a steroid drug, prednisolone.

As you can imagine I don't feel very sunny about this diagnosis or the treatment and have been scaring myself silly reading about the side effects of taking steroid drugs over time. It seems that it is a condition that can disappear after a year or so but I have also read of people who have it for years. If anyone has any experience of this, I would welcome any advice.

On the plus side, within a couple of days of taking the tablets, my aches and pains just faded away. In the summer I could only walk very short distances and at the weekend I managed two or three miles, a big improvement and one that I must remember to be grateful for.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's Day

New Year's Day and time for a walk.  Last month was the coldest December since 1890 with an average temperature of -0.4C but today was +5C and virtually all the snow had melted. How nice to be walking on green grass once again.

We chose a path which followed high ground but the day was grey, the views misty

and the colours muted.

Still good to spend part of the first day of the new year out in the fresh air, taking photographs of some of my favourite trees.