Sunday, March 31

at the beginning of March

my hand underwent surgery. The surgeon gave me a sketch of what he did and I've been showing it to all and sundry in the manner of a proud parent-to-be showing a baby scan.

It's still the recovery period (and for another month or so at least), doing lots of flexing and massage to build strength in my thumb joint, to bring the nerve endings back to life and reduce scar tissue - it's sore and I can't drive or put my bra on!

It's been a sad month - a dear friend and beloved member of our neighbourhood died at the end of February.

I am setting up an art project in Surrey, I'm still in the preparatory phase. As I'm not able to drive and I'm unfamiliar with the area I took up the offer to go and look after a long-haired cat near the estate where I'll be working. The hairy tomcat spent his days and nights out and about, getting up to mischief no doubt. He'd slink back to the house with evidence of these adventures on his prodigious coat - bits of hedge and moss stuck all over him, surprising odours hitching a ride too - one morning he came in smelling as though he'd been in the sewers.

Back home on Friday I decided to try swimming in the lake by the ocean with my injured hand, the temperature is still quite icy, as the cold seeped in my thumb joint complained and I had to return to dry land swimming single handedly, the poorly one held above my head as though I was calling for help.

Friday, March 1

What's my motivation?

Drove to the seaside for an icy swim this morning along with several other people. My fellow dippers seem to fall into two camps.

i) Mostly women; jumping-in, giggling and chatting about last night's telly
ii) Mostly men; doing 'distance,' wearing devices that chart the metrics of their swimming, much discussion about past and upcoming water-based challenges.  

I was dried and ready to head home at the same time as another Bristol-based swimmer, he accepted my offer of a lift back.  Maintaining a constant monologue about swim-races, marathons and cross-channel swimming events coming up over the next decade, he kept asking if I was planning to enter this or training for that (no - a thousand times no). I realised that he was trying to work out what my goal was - what was the point of my swimming - I could offer him no satisfactory explanation.

I have also joined a gym, I have been given a card where I must note down the heaviness of the weights that I can push or pull and how many times I can do it. I'm a few weeks in and have completed a row of figures on my first card, I note that I am pushing and pulling pretty much the same amount of weight that I was when I started and it dawned on me that my aim is simple - 'Don't Get Worse' - this can become my motto, my motivational mantra, I shall embroider it on a coat of arms and make myself a marching banner.

Later that day 

walking up the road, passed a grizzled-looking man who suddenly exclaimed MOTHERFUCKER
I startled and looked at him with raised eyebrows, he looked abashed and said - Not you - you look lovely
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