nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘exercise

another virtual bike ride … Ireland

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Those of you who follow my blog may remember my virtual bike trips across France, along the Cornwall coast and in northern New Brunswick. I have decided to go virtual travelling again … along the southern coast of Ireland. According to my DNA, some of my ancestors were Irish so this will take me to my roots!

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My virtual trip will be incentive to exercise on my stationary bike. While I am on the bike, I click along my ‘path’ using Street View of Google Earth. With the various tools in Google Earth I can plot my journey, measure the ‘distance’ I have travelled, and take some photos along the way.  I began my journey on September 4, 2017 and you can follow along if you like, by following my other website http://www.alexandra128.wordpress.com

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Alexandra (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC)

Hi. I would love you to have a look at my wellness blog http://www.alexandra128.wordpress.com

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Best wishes

Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane)

ireland

The beginning of my trip, near Donegall West, Cork County, Ireland

 

 

 

Written by jane tims

September 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm

yard work – winter wood

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Another beautiful fall day. Today I helped my husband cut up the last of two birch trees he had felled earlier in September. Then I piled the wood in our new wood rack. Give it a chance to dry and it will be ready for splitting and burning next winter.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

October 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

yard work – sundial

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Although I have no trouble spending endless hours at the computer writing, writing, writing, even editing, editing, editing, more physical types of work have always been hard for me to enthuse over!

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And although I am a botanist, and interested in the environment, spending time out-of-doors has become harder with the years. I hate mosquitoes and black flies. Heat and humidity are no friend of mine. And, of course, there are the arthritic knees.  I do go out, on endless drives to find bridges, schools and various plants. We spend lots of time at our cabin, watching birds. And I sit on our deck each day to listen for bird songs and enjoy the evening breeze. But notice that most of this is sitting.

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Last month I put myself on a reward system (like a child earning stickers) and have spent a little active time outside each day. Usually only about an hour. I have helped my husband cut wood, piled said wood, helped him cut down our dead apple tree, broken the dead branches of said apple tree into sticks for a future fire, picked up all the fallen tree branches in our back driveway, cut the bracken fern from my back garden in two sessions, and so on. I’m sure no one else would even notice the resulting yard improvements, but I do! And going outside each day is now a habit.

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Today I tackled a long-planned project – the rebuilding of our sundial. I built the original sundial base with chunks of stone, but frost heaves and snowbanks have done their work and the old sundial base is now a pile of rubble.  I had saved the brick from the dismantling of our inside hearth this spring and had lots of material to work with. On Wednesday morning, I rolled a cement paving stone into place and used the brick to rebuild a base. Now the sundial is no longer a tumbled mess of rock.

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No work of engineering but much neater than before. And if the clocks ever stop working, my sundial will still record the passing of time!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

September 9, 2016 at 7:00 am

early schooling – apple trees for climbing

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2015 160

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When I find an old one room school still standing, there are often apple trees in the yard. I realise these trees may not have existed a century ago, but it makes me think how important trees are to kids. I can imagine, if there was an apple tree or an orchard near the school yard, it would have been a favorite place for the students to play at recess and lunch-time.

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Apple trees were made for climbing. And for hanging swings. Perhaps for carving initials. Or shaking loose blossom petals on friends standing beneath the tree.

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Lower Queensbury School 2 crop

Lower Queensbury School, York County, New Brunswick

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I grew up in a city in the 1960s when authorities considered concrete the best play surface for a school yard. Run and risk a skinned knee. There were monkey bars for climbing, but I find myself wishing my school yard memories included an apple tree with a big horizontal limb.

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'antics' May 31, 2016 Jane Tims

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Did you have trees to play on where you went to school?

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2016 

Written by jane tims

June 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

Born to Walk – a book review

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‘… Marooned at my desk, I swiveled round and round, drowning in digital static …‘ (page XIII).

So many of us can relate in a personal way to Dan Rubenstein’s description of his work life in the field of journalism. When he talks about managing his stress by checking emails every few minutes, I can say, I’ve been there! Dan’s book, Born to Walk, shows us a way to change our lives in a very simple way … just walk!

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my first Shelf Monkey book

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Born to Walk – The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act (Dan Rubinstein, 2015, ecw press, Toronto) is a book of non-fiction with a strong narrative component.  It could be described as a self-help book of the environmental kind.  Born to Walk describes the health benefits of walking, fitting this into the context of what it is to be human in the natural world. This book would be interesting for those who walk already and those who are thinking about taking up or accelerating a walking program. As I was reading, I often wanted to quit reading and start (you guessed it) walking.

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In a discussion of the benefits and pleasures of walking, Dan considers walking a key life strategy. He tells the tales of people who feel compelled to walk or who walk for a living. Dan’s credentials for writing this book become more obvious as we read – the writer has learned through doing. Over the course of the book, we learn about his interviews with some of the most outstanding walkers in the world – interviews conducted while on foot and on the trail! The walkers he tells us about include a postal ‘delivery agent’ in Ottawa, a police officer walking the beat in Philadelphia, a photographer in New York City, and a medical doctor walking between Native communities in eastern Canada.

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The book considers, chapter by chapter, specific topics about walking: the effects of walking on the body and mind; how society can benefit from pedestrian ways; the economic and political connections of walking; and the influences of walking on creativity, spirituality and family life.

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My interest in the book sparked when I read the sub-title – ‘The  Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act’. My struggle with arthritis and the inactivity that accompanies mobility problems, has convinced me that activity and walking should have been a focus of my life, especially in my thirties and forties when I started sitting more than walking. The book points out that isolation and sitting are the new smoking.

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In opposition to the ‘sitting disease’, Born to Walk explores the benefits walking can deliver. Dan describes the positive effects of being in nature. Sneakers, he says, are as important as medications in dealing with our many health issues. With careful consideration of the sage advice of the walkers of our time, backed up by health statistics and epidemiological studies, Dan explains how walking can improve our sense of ‘personal mastery’ and ‘self-regard’.  I was intrigued by his descriptions of the experiences of those who are serious walkers – for example, the ‘green blur’ overtaking those who have been on a difficult trail for days.

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As a planner, I was most interested in Dan’s insightful ideas about planning for a ‘walkable city’. He describes new approaches to creating urban areas where cars and people can coexist in safety.  Some of the ideas he explores include development of road-skinny cities, the benefits of ‘walking meetings’, and the possibility of finding tranquil urban spaces to make up for our lack of being in more natural locations.

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Reading this book was a pleasure. The narrative lines are engaging, the stories are often funny and Dan’s style is sensitive and not at all condescending. He writes with the conviction and knowledge of one who practices what he advocates.  My favourite chapter of the book was definitely ‘Creativity’. As a writer, I have often noticed that the rhythms of walking inspire both the metre and cadence of poetry.  Born to Walk describes ‘participatory art walks’ in Brooklyn and the ephemeral art of an ‘X’ walked into a field of daisies.  ‘People get ideas when they are out walking’ (page 190).

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My only problem with the book is related to the way I personally prefer to read. I found the chapters long (eight chapters plus prologue and epilogue for a book of 251 pages with about 300 words per page). I tend to read in chunks and consider it a smooth read if I can take in a full chapter at a sitting.

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As a person with mobility problems, I applied much of what Dan said to my preferred mode of exercise (the stationary bike). While the stationary bike gives me some of the physical benefits of walking out-of-doors, I realise I am missing out on other benefits. For this reason, I am motivated to walk to the extent of my ability. One truth I read in the book is the idea of embracing and putting up with some pain as long as I am not doing damage to my joints.

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Born to Walk The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act is a thought-provoking, walk-inspiring book.  I am eager to read other books by Dan Rubenstein!

Dan has an interesting blog describing some of his adventures leading to the writing of Born to Walk ( http://borntowalk.org/ ).

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 1, 2015 at 7:09 am

I’m a Shelf Monkey!

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I see myself in many roles in this life – mother, wife, reader, writer, botanist, artist, friend, sister, and so on.  Recently, I have added one more role … I am a Shelf Monkey!

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My life as a Shelf Monkey began when I responded to a message from ecw press in Toronto.  They seek folks who love to read and would be willing to write a review of one of their titles.

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To be a Shelf Monkey, you must be 16 years or older and live in Canada or the United States.  Once ecw accepts you as a Shelf Monkey, they ask you to read and review one of their books.  First, they email you a choice of books.  Then you are entered into a draw (since there are other Shelf Monkeys).  If you win the draw, you receive an advance reading copy of your chosen book in the mail.  Your book review can be by Blog, Facebook, Amazon, and so on. They encourage posting a review within a month of receiving the book.

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For more information on becoming a Shelf Monkey, see http://www.ecwpress.com/be-shelf-monkey .

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Jane, reading

Jane, reading

 

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I am currently reading my first Shelf Monkey book – Born to Walk – The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act by Dan Rubinstein (ecw press, 2015, Toronto).  I chose the book because of my interest in mobility and the simplicity of the idea – walking can transform our lives.  I should be finished the book within the next couple of weeks and I’ll be posting a review on my Blog.

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my first Shelf Monkey book

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I would read faster, but the first chapter has inspired me to get out and do more walking!!!

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

 

glimpses of country life – drying day

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For the last two weeks, I have continued on my stationary bike, touring (virtually) through the Cornwall countryside.  Since I last reported, I have gone from Rinsey Croft to the coastal town of Prussia Cove.  Since the road does not run along the coast, I have spent most of my biking miles travelling on short roads from the highway to various coastal towns.  In this stretch, I biked for 150 minutes, and saw about 9 km of the Cornwall countryside.

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Rinsey to Prussia Cove

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As I bike, I love seeing the vignettes of country life captured by Street View.  Gates, of course, and stone walls.  Cows and horses grazing in the meadows.  People hiking along the roads and working in their gardens.  And a line of washing, hung out on the line to dry.

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September 7, 2014  'drying day'  acrylic 20 X 24  Jane Tims

September 7, 2014 ‘drying day’ acrylic 20 X 24 Jane Tims

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Reminds me of home.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

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