This week has reminded me of the vital importance of one’s health. Despite some excesses in youth, and a continuing predilection for some of the things labelled in the press and by medical knowledge as ‘bad for us’, I enjoy good health.
One of the reasons for retiring when I did was that I wanted to enjoy retirement while my health allowed me to do the things I have had to ration in the past due to work – activities such as gardening, travelling and walking in rural and mountain idylls. It has therefore been frustrating to have spent the last week nursing a painful and swollen knee.
However, a pause in physical activity has allowed me to contemplate some of the more difficult and less exciting and long postponed items on my list of things to do: proper tidying my study, thinning and cleaning up our now vast paper filing systems, backing up my laptop, and even thinking about the approach I should adopt to learning Italian. Also, I have been able to step up reading.
I am lucky enough to have some lovely places to read in both inside and outside the house – even with my knee up and with an ice pack perched on it! I have just finished The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry and am now well into a lovely, slim volume called A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler – I recommend both. But it’s great to combine the reading with idle observation of birds and bees from my position in the garden (see below), and with planning for resumption of normal activities.