Back on my feet

A difficult week given the untimely demise of our beloved pup; but I am finally released from the shackles of a job which often made me feel helpless and hopeless.

After crying my eyes out on Tuesday as the vet put Romeo to sleep, on Wednesday I began to tackle the domestic to do list: tidying and odd jobs. By yesterday evening I’d got as far as completing my tax return… a process and sense of achievement nicely encapsulated by Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot, here:

Today I have cycled, walked, made sausage sandwiches for breakfast, sorted our evening meal, done my washing, and now am sitting socially distanced outside a little cafe with a nice flat white. I feel a bit like Atlas the robot below, tentatively upbeat…

But there’s no getting away from the fact that this week will always be remembered for our lost little dog; he tried, but after his stroke, never could quite get back to his feet.

The Wonders of Walking…


My surprise discover of the last month is the wonder of walking…

For over 15 years I’ve routinely cycled to work; rain or shine, hot or cold – but not freezing cold. My one rule is not to cycle when it’s near freezing or snowing. Too slippy all round.

At the same time I’ve realised – thanks to my FitBit – that I burn about 130 calories on a half hour cycle to work. And sometimes as low as 95 calories when in traffic; a 20 minute walk burns more…

All that faffing about getting changed and locking up and remembering keys and lights and all the paraphernalia – and then a perilous ride dodging tipper tricks, taxis, buses; not to mention ‘friendly fire’ from Lycra louts whizzing inside and out on racing bikes. Plus the handful of times I’ve fallen off, it REALLY hurts. 

So instead, given the cold weather I’m walking – 20 to 35 mins – then either hop on a bus or sometimes a hire bike for the last bit to work. When you factor in locking up and getting changed same time taken; but lots more done…

  • More calories burnt (wards off the spare tyre) 
  • More phone calls made (extra mileage and running repairs with people at work) 
  • More music listened to (additional joy and nostalgia in the tank)
  • More thinking time (clearer view of the road ahead)

At the Science Museum (for work) this week, I briefly took in their lovely new Robot exhibition – 300 years of trying to make human-like machines. Some of them are wonderful, some spooky; one in particular heartbreakingly engaging – she gives you a fist bump and twinkles at you when you lay your hands on hers. 


But the one thing the roboticists struggle with the most is the human foot – it’s too clever by half. Given it’s so surprisingly special, good to make full use of it. All roads lead to more walking.