changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

Continuing… steps. December 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:02 pm
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I’ve been quiet for a while…. there may have been one or two of the more cynical amongst you who thought those Whitby steps had finished me off…. but no.

I peaked at 1minute 40 seconds and then came down with a mild bug over the last weekend and never got up the steps again. We….ll… I got half way up…. went strangely dizzy and retreated back down the steps and spent the afternoon in bed.

But I’m keeping the routine… I worked out that if i go up my stairs at home 15 times I’ll be approximating the Whitby steps…and so I do… most days. Some days I let myself off a few and justify it with the fact that coming down the stairs MUST expend some energy.

It says something about the time of year… and the Lincolnshire landscape that I prefer to stomp up and down the stairs as opposed to going for an actual walk…. its not as if I can do the stairs mug of tea in hand either… I’ve tried…. it was messy.  But its warm in the house and the sofa is very close for those moments of collapse.

Jane suggests I should do something like Zumba… or yoga (like wot she does)…. but faced with a village hall full of exercising women the stair carpet has its draw.

NB. we missed great excitement in Whitby by a week as a high tide with a storm surge behind it flooded most of the low lying parts of town.



All change November 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 4:06 pm
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Well they sorted the internets and as the big house was booked for the weekend we are now demoted back to the cottage, nestled under the cliff with the church looming over the roof. The weather has taken a turn for the colder so it feels like we’ve retreated into our hobbit hole, switched on the fire, drawn the curtains and we’ll hunker down til Monday.

Apart from when we go to the pub tonight…and Scarborough tomorrow to pick up my daughter (joining us for the weekend)  etc etc.

I still have a room in the eaves with, if i stand on tippy-toes and look over the roofs accross the road, a sea view. I also have a flight of stairs so steep that they will definitely deter me from getting squiffy.

Today we’ve had a lazier day (other than getting up early to pack and shift everything accross the lane and up a bit). We’ve ambled round the shops – you can tell alot about a town by its shops, especially its charity shops…. and Whitby is a town with too many charity shops and not much to go round, where the locals dress cheap and obviously the visitors who can afford to rent all these dinky cottages take their own clothes home again. Either that or the multitude of old clothes shops claiming ‘vintage’ clothing get first dibs.

We’d both hoped to score some Christmas presents whilst here…. but other than jet based jewellry, goth stuff and seasidey tat there’s not much to go on. I’m even getting desperate for a holiday present for the boy… I was almost at a point of resorting to rock (the sweet kind) but then I find out that whilst I’m away he’s having his first wobbly tooth – possibly not the best time for rock. (…and would you believe it Jane was told today at school that SOME children get £5 from the tooth fairy -bleeding extortionate).

In other news…. yesterday I made it up the steps in 1 minute 45 seconds and today….. (admittedly and purposefully with lighter shoes on rather than my stompy hiking boots) I shaved another 5 seconds off that time and overtook some Americans – so double win. Annie opined that I didn’t look as though i was going to die… nor was I panting and bright red in the face as I was the first day up.


Healthy hols. November 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 9:27 pm
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It took me two minutes exactly from the bottom of the 199 steps to the well placed collapse-upon grave…. a long walk on a windswept beach, picking up pebbles and dodging the waves and then of course 32 steps to the top floor toilet in the house. (there are other toilets but I’m taking my step training seriously – or was until Annie worked out on paper how many times I’d have to go to the toilet to make 199 steps or thereabouts – at which point I poured another glass of wine and decided it wasn’t a suitable training method as for every 32 steps i climbed I’d have the respite of coming down before re-ascending).

All in all a lovely day..and what with that and all the yummy healthy food Annie makes- (she’ll never convert me to vegetarianism but she can make me eat double helpings of pretty much anything she cooks) I think this could be a fairly healthy holiday. I’m pretty sure the exercise will be outweighing the wine and chocolate and cakes…and….

…well…. I feel another 199 steps coming on.

The other thing I’m getting plenty of which I suspect I need is sleep. I so need my sleep…. eight hours preferably… nine in winter when the hibernation urge is upon me.

The place we’ve ended up in has four bedrooms, twice as many as we expected to have and when we arrived we each very sensible took a bedroom on the first floor… each with its own en suite dontcha know.

But then I re-explored the top floor, its all slanty floors and ceilings, wood and beams and painted blue and it feels like being in a ship… so I moved all my stuff I’d just unpacked and took a smaller room.

It means I have a floor to myself… and a bathroom too.  It also means that when I lie in bed at night with my window just ajar (the way I like it) I can hear the wind and the waves and in the morning the gulls and the chugging of the boats pootling out of harbour…. above my bed is a skylight and when the clouds are blown away I can lie and look at the stars.

I’m hoping it’ll rain whilst we’re here… because if theres anything I like more than the sound of wind and waves  it’s the sound of wind and waves and rain on a window…. its worth losing the stars for….well only on a temporary basis.

They’re also the sounds of childhood… okay not the waves or the chugging fishing boats but I grew up in the wild west (west coast of Lancashire – Blackpool to be exact) but the sound of wind and rain and seagulls make me feel at home… feeling like a child brings its own comforts… and comforts and sleep, windy beaches, good food, and not forgetting good company bring their own sort of healing.


steps November 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 8:41 pm
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fuck the 39 steps… Whitby has 199. Well…. coming down them for the first time ever yesterday I counted them – as you would. I made it 198 and am tempted to contact Whitby’s tourist board…or trading standards… or both. Or maybe alternatively next time i try counting them and realise i’ve lost count I should go back up and start again. But that way I’m sure lies madness if not death.

The house is at the bottom of the steps… the car park at the top (we could park it on the level but that would cost money) – every time we get in the car we need to take the steps… walk for about ten minutes passed some fairly stunning gothic crumbly thing and an equally impressive youth hostel to get to the car.

It cartainly stops us jumping in the car to post a letter or buy some chips.

So my challenge this morning was to get up the buggers without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

And you know what?

I did it…. there was a point where i had to stop talking and save my breathing for more important things (like staying upright), my thighs burned and my head went all floaty (possibly lack of breakfast) but I got to the top…. and there some dead person (or most likely their relatives) had placed one of those boxy gravey tomb things [do they have a proper name?] just right for a lady close to expiring to collapse on.

The met office say its going to rain later tomorrow (how come just living by the sea makes you automatically more interested in the weather?… i’ve even been reading the shipping forcast) so we’re off for a walk in the morning up coast a tad. We’ll be timing me up the steps…. and then again at the end of the week. Any bets on the time difference one way or the other are gladly received and pooh poohed.

Me and Annie… we really know how to live it up large on holiday.



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