Walking, as we know, is good for us. A brisk walk a few days a week has always been my go-to form of exercise. Walking helps me. A lot. Especially the kind when I’m stirred up, stressed out and just plain stuck.
For those kind, I plug in my headphones and crank up my iPod. Although I write in silence, I process more to Kurt Cobain and The Foo Fighters than anywhere else.
But not now, because twelve days ago I broke my ankle.
Four more weeks before I can walk or drive. I wear this fracture boot day and night and hobble about on crutches. And yes, it happened when I was out walking with my husband in the middle of a field.
I stopped wearing my Fitbit. What use is a ‘Weekly Report’ that only reminds you of your paltry lack of steps? Well I’ll have you know, Fitbit, you should see me when I navigate the stairs. Surely that counts for something?
What better workout could there be with a broken ankle, than Kitty zooming past me mid-stair in her newly made-up game of Dodge the Crutches?
It’s okay. I see her coming. She sleeps by me every night, long and warm and cuddly and just yesterday, I awoke with her two front paws stretched out on my leg. As if to say get better soon.
So I forgive her anything.
But what of other news from the summerhouse?
Lockdown in late March brought a surprise heatwave and an emergence of frenetic bee activity from our bee hotel. We had the delightful privilege of observing these entertaining busy bees until they retired, worn out poor things, in June.
We’ve had Leafcutters in the past, but this year we had mostly Red Mason bees. They are solitary and vitally important as urban pollinators. Much of their habitat has been destroyed; a bee hotel provides nesting and shelter.
The Woodland Trust has some good tips for making one for your garden.
Here’s what I’ve learned: the males emerge first and wait for the females. They mate, the males die and the females get busy building nests and laying their eggs over the next couple of months.
Within each tube, they create different cells separated by little walls of mud. In each cell, they lay an egg and deposit tiny globes of pollen, brought in attached to their abdomens. This is food for the developing larvae.
For further reading, The Pollinator Garden makes the point that this isn’t so much a ‘bee hotel’ as a permanent home for these bees. I love this stuff!
They seal up each tube with mud. There, over eleven months, the eggs develop into larvae, a dormant pupa stage and then to fully formed bees the following spring.
Isn’t nature wonderful?
These solitary bees have done their work and have gone now. Thank you, bees, for all you do and the joy you bring. I can’t wait to meet the next generation next spring.
The joy of bees aside, these are strange times.
On the memoir front, an opportunity has come my way for ongoing book development as I continue to hone my pitch for my next round of literary agent submissions. It’s work and I’m ready. I’m not giving up!
Meanwhile, I’m thrilled that my non-fiction piece Behind The Mask is featured in This is Lockdown, a beautifully crafted anthology published by by M J Mallon, Author and Poet . It is an honour to feature alonside so many wonderful writers.
Thank you so much, Marje, for all your hard work putting it together. The official book launch is July 20th, but pre-order is available now.
Other writing news, I’m over at Carrot Ranch this week with my Unsung Heroes post, The Silent Ones Who Change A Life. I would be thrilled if you joined me there.
It saddens me to sign off blogging for a while. With the easing of lockdown, uncertain times lies ahead. Covid-19 has not gone away, vigilance is key. I am a carer and I need to get well. I miss my boys, I miss the sea, and everyday challenges mount up.
I need to focus and it isn’t easy right now!
My plan, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise (again), is to return energised, walking and raring to go in September.
Until then, I thank you all, dear friends, for your support and readership. I bid you all a happy, healthy summer. And as always, keep safe.
Love Sherri x