Past, Present and Future

Have you ever given thought to the age that you would like to achieve? Believe me, folks, when you are about to hit the seventy-year milestone it might start to creep into your thought processes - as it has into mine. I have a target of around eighty-six in mind - possibly beyond that if I'm relatively sound in body and mind. The news is that I have a 15.13% chance of suffering cardiovascular disease in the next ten years. That's official. Computed by the QRISK2 algorithm after the doc received the results of my annual medical tests. I don't know what to think. Is that good, or is it bad? What I do know is that I can reduce that risk, which is associated with high blood pressure and excess weight, by diet, exercise, and relaxation techniques. Well, we all know that we ought to be doing.

In the run-up to my medical, I had been following a low blood sugar diet for a couple of weeks. The diet is aimed at reducing the risk of diabetes but a side benefit is that, because it's low in refined carbs, it can lead to weight loss. And I have to say that I am starting to feel healthier and fitter. So I'm sticking to it for most of each week. Who knew that mashed avocado with chilli flakes and baked tomatoes could be a great breakfast?

Thursday involved a slight deviation from the plan, as my sister and her husband dropped in for an overnight stay en route to the North.  I cooked a lamb tagine for dinner (from my low blood sugar recipe book - full marks to me) but we followed up with ice cream and raspberries - with shortbread on the side. I couldn't resist buying the shortbreads as a treat - they looked so inviting on the introductory offers stand in the supermarket  - little heart-shaped cookies, some flavoured with lavender and some with rose petals and china tea. Who could pass by when there were guests coming? Not me.

Friday morning, before the visitors departed, we visited Britain's National Civil War Museum, which is based in Newark. It's well worth a visit if you are ever in this neck of the woods. The bonus was that there is a travelling Lawrence of Arabia exhibition in the museum at present. Captain Lawrence's story will be familiar to all who have seen the film Lawrence of Arabia.  He was an archaeologist working in the part of the Ottoman Empire that is now Syria. Recruited by the British at the start of the Ottoman uprising he infiltrated the Arab resurgents. T.E. Lawrence was living in Dorset under and assumed name and in the guise of a retired airforce mechanic when in 1935 he died when his motorcycle crashed in mysterious circumstances. A black car seen in the area at the time was never traced.

 Image of T.E. Lawrence in Arab clothing
(The exhibition is moving on to the Royal Armouries in Leeds very soon - which is an even more fabulous museum to visit if you are nearby).

Captain Lawrence had connections with the area where I live.




Quite incidentally, my sister and her husband toured the archaeological sites in Syria in 2008. They travelled the same railway route that was displayed on a map in the exhibition, completing a circular route from Damascus to Aleppo - a town that now, along with other settlements in the area, to all intents and purposes no longer exists. What a sad state our world and the mentality of some inhabit it, has reached.

Unfortunately for my healthy diet, our museum visit involved a pit stop to refuel with coffee - and cake - in the cafe, so now I've had all of my treats for the next seven days. I'm back on track with the diet now  - and resolved to make more regular trips to the park with the Nordic poles. Who knows? The QRISK2 assessment could be down to the acceptable 10% by this time next year.

Have a great weekend - hope you have little exercise planned! And perhaps a small treat.

Comments

  1. Sounds like a lovely time—even if it blew your diet for those days. I'm not even going to shoot for a certain age because I've learned that whatever I hope or plan, probably will come out very different anyway. Enjoy your week!

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