Of Writing, Walking And A Broken Ankle

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’m thinking, Robocop…with Velcro?

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.

Kitty & Cherry Tree July 2020 (c) Sherri Matthews

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.

We frequently observed several bees at a time darting in and out of various tubes, busy forming mud seals at the entrance. Sometimes they would work in this position for hours (c) Sherri Matthews

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!

(c) Sherri Matthews

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

 

 

About Sherri Matthews

While bringing her memoir, 'Stranger In A White Dress', to publication, Sherri's articles, short memoir, personal essays, poetry and flash fiction are published in national magazines, anthologies and online. Sherri blogs about her travels, nature and wildlife, Asperger's Syndrome and her life as a Brit ‘mom’ in America. As a regular contributer and columnist at 'Carrot Ranch', an online literary community, Sherri writes flash fiction and articles about the process of memoir for a 'Raw Lit' series. In another life, Sherri lived in California for twenty years, but today, she lives in England with her family including two black cats and a grumpy bunny. Writing stories from yesterday, making sense of today, giving hope for tomorrow.
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45 Responses to Of Writing, Walking And A Broken Ankle

  1. Sorry to hear about your ankle, Sherri. You take care xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bummer. Hope you heal well and fast. And good luck with all the other stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks so much, D, really appreciate your good wishes. It is a bummer but what can you do? I’m just annoyed about it now!!! I’ll be on FB and can keep tabs with the Ranch . Take care.

      Like

  3. Sorry about your ankle! I hope it offers you an opportunity to write more. PS. I love your kitty, she looks a lot like mine! Sound like a similar personality too..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Beth! Aww…aren’t black kitties beautiful? And naughty, too!! We have another one though he’s 14 so he’s seen it all 😉 Kitty’s real name is Olive…but we still call her Kitten!

      Like

  4. Tom says:

    Sorry about your ankle, Sherri, and enjoy your break. I mean the blogging one, obviously, but feel free to enjoy the other as well… it’ll pass the time at least! Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mvschulze says:

    Aside from the mis-step, (hope you heal quickly) I also hope you and family continue to be well. Parts of California are now in the throes of the continuing pandemic, as is Florida and other southern states. We, in NJ have managed the crisis to where it is very stable for now. But national leadership, here, is our worst enemy. We should take some lessons from the Bee Hotel. There’s a little society that has it together! M 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha…good pun, there Marty 😉 Always great to hear from you, thank you much and I hope the same for you and your family. Yes, I keep close tabs on the happenings over there with my NY Times app and especially California. It’s not looking good there at the moment, rolling back the re-openings. I’m sure we could have a very interesting discussion about national leadership… Glad to hear things are stable in your state. I’m hoping it remains that way here too, as we relax more restrictions…
      I love that idea about the Bee Hotel. If only… 🙂

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  6. Sue says:

    Sorry to hear about the ankle, Sherry…take care

    Liked by 1 person

  7. restlessjo says:

    The ease with which we break things is alarming. It may have cramped your steps but not your style, Sherri. Hope you’re soon skipping up those stairs again. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dgkaye says:

    Oh Sher, the crazy planets have been wreaking havoc on everything and everyone. I’m sorry about your ankle. I’ve broken my ankle before so I know the gruel. Stay safe, and stay off the foot. And thrilled to be with you too in Marje’s anthology. Hugs to you my friend. ❤ ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Deb, is that what’ s going on? Something is because you won’t believe it, thanks to my injury AND the walking boot which is healing my ankle, I’ve developed DVT 😦 Been in and out of A&E (ER) six times in two weeks…enough already! Thank goodness it’s being treated now, I knew something wasn’t right… But it’s a big shift as I adjust to all this and sort my head out. Scary stuff when it first happened. So sorry you’ve had the broken ankle too…two peas in a pod as you often say even in our injuries 😉 I’ve got to keep this leg properly elevated for two weeks so typing will be a bit tricky as it gets my back but I’ll get around it. Never a dull moment, eh? Thanks so much, Deb. And yes, I’m thrilled too we’re there together in Marje’s anthology !<3 I'll keep an eye out for your Q&A. Hugs back to you, my friend…keep safe and well! ❤ 🙂 ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Arg Sher, yes, the planets should calm down in another week or so. Omg, 6 times to ER in these crazy times. Please stay safe Sher. Never go out without the mask! Take the time to heal and read, don’t worry about blogging. Just stay safe girl!!!! Big healing hugs your way! ❤ ❤ xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        • Aww, Deb, thanks so much my friend. And yes, it’s compulsory here now to wear masks in hospital and doctor settings (although we’ve been wearing ours from day one) and also from next week, in shops too. Still so many not wearing them. I’m going to be doing just that and focus on getting well again. Wiped out with it all. Your healing hugs are helping a lot. Staying safe and I know you’re doing the same. Hugs back! ❤ ❤ ❤ xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            We too have been wearing masks since March. Ya, back then they said not necessary. Bwawawawa ya sure thing, that’s why doctors where them in ORs because they don’t help. SMH! If everyone would wear the damn things we could get the curve down globally. Bad leadership in many countries isn’t helping. Just heal! ❤ ❤ xxxx

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  9. Sorry to hear about your ankle, Sherri. Are you having physical therapy or just let it heal? I saw something like the bee hotel at Costco, our warehouse type of store. It looks good and I need pollinators, but I’m working on a garden project so I’ll think about that one. I’m so happy that you’re part of Marje’s anthology. Get well soon, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Miriam. The walking boot is like a cast so I have to wear it for 4 weeks then ease out of it very slowly for another 2 so 6 weeks in total. It keeps the ankle and lower leg stable. I will have physio once I start to make the transition to walking without it. I’ll need it as I want to make sure the ankle is strong again before I attempt long walks. I hope you get a bee hotel for your garden, the kind of solitary bees that use them are great pollinators, and if it’s in a sunny spot a few feet high with plenty of bee-friendly plants and flowers nearby, they will come! Garden projects are the best, I am intrigud! Thank you again, my friend. I look forward to the day in the fall when I can at last join in with your photo challenges… Until then, enjoy your garden and keep safe! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mary Smith says:

    Wishing you all the best with the ankle and the memoir and look forward to you re-joining the blogging world after the summer. Big hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Mary. I have struggled to keep it going here with this latest setback and I need to pace myself, literally! I really look forward to returning and meanwhile, I will catch up with you on FB as and when. Enjoy summer, keep well and safe and big hugs back 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. purpleslob says:

    Oh man, I pray your ankle gets healed very quickly! Yuck that you have stairs!! 😦 Please don’t let kitty win the “Around the crutches” game!! going ove to look at the mask. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Liz H says:

    Happy, hopeful healing!
    Fascinating info about your bee neighbors.
    Look forward to reading in the Fall!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thanks so much Liz! Every day I look at the bee hotel and think of all the bee babies in there, sleeping and growing happily away ready for next spring. It’s an honour, you know? I look forward to catching up with you too and meanwhile also on our CR FB group as and when. Keep safe this summer! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Genny says:

    Hi Sherri! I was so sorry to hear from my mom about your ankle. Hope you have a speedy recovery! Love and miss you lots!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Genny! Aww, thank you so much…the travails of life, eh? I hope you and your lovely family are enjoying a good and safe summer despite everything going on there. You are all so dear to me, your mom and all of you. Love and miss you greatly. Big hugs from across the pond! ❤ xoxo

      Like

  14. TanGental says:

    ha, and just as the footie season was about to start – you must be as sick as a summerhouse without a sherry. Glad the writing is ticking along and have the summer of delights before you explode back before us. TTFN – Lots of love from sarf londin…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha!! Sure you haven’t been nipping at the sherry, Geoff? 😀 Good job I’m not into footie…and yes, though I am that sick, at least I have gin and lots of lemon in the fridge. I am envisioning exploding back into action…I rather like that plan. Aww…but thanks so much, Geoff. Hope you and your lovely family are all keeping well in sarf londin. We’re all doing okay other than the cracks and breaks. I’ll be seeing you on Zoom! Lots of love back from Somerrrrset.

      Like

  15. Charli Mills says:

    Dodgey game, that cat and crutches! She gets more adorable each photo I see. I’m glad she lying paws on you, healing your wound. That Robo Cop with Velcro Boot looks like a torture contraption from a medieval dungeon. I have pre-ordered my copy of This Is Lockdown. Congratulations on your inclusion! Your column at the Ranch has struck a chord with many. Rest up, Sherri, and write on! Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charli, I’m cracking up here, I read your comment and on quick glance thought you were saying you had pre-ordered your Robo Cop boot!!!!!!! It feels a bit like a torture contraption everytime I take it off and ease my leg out with a long ahhhhhh…. Unfortunately, the boot that is healing my fracture has given me DVT. The ‘unlucky few’ apparantely. Or, as we call it here, Sod’s Law. I’m thrilled to be included in Marje’s beautiful anthology and also to feature in the Unsung Heroes Column at the Ranch. It’s wonderful how far and wide the reach through blogging, isn’t it? Thank you so much, as always, for your wonderful support, my friend! ❤

      Like

  16. Dearest Sherri, of course I already knew about your leg before I read this post, so you already know that I’m extremely sympathetic, will be talking to you on the phone soon etc. I couldn’t help getting a funny thought (if it’s allowed), when you said about kitty stretched out next to your leg. It was of a naughy kitty (not a good one like yours), maybe it would use your leg plaster as a scratching pole. Animals are devils running down the stairs next to one. My darling Labrador does that, too — all 25 kg of her. It’s so dangerous but I am well used to it after experiencing 12 years of sharing the stairs with her. I do hope your bone mends quickly. I gave my two offspring homeopathic ruta graveolens when they broke their a bone each as children. They were able to have their plasters off two weeks earlier than usual, possibly because of this remedy. There certainly was no other explanation.

    Looking forward to talking to you soon. Stay calm. Deep breaths. Keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll have a big breakthrough with your memoir soon. Lots of love, hugs, and kisses, Sarah xxxxxx

    Like

  17. Pat says:

    I’m sorry to hear you broke your ankle, Sherri. It’s hard hobbling around. I can understand having broken mine a few years back and had to have surgery and pins put in it. I had difficulty with the crutches, though, and had to go for something more stable, a walker. That was humbling.

    You’ve got this girl and will soon be out on those walks in no time. Happy you’re still writing and submitting your manuscript to agents. It’s definitely different these days and glad to see you’re managing it all well.

    God bless, my friend, be safe and well and no more falls, please! Hugs and love. ❤

    Like

  18. I’m clearly so far behind with reading blog posts, you’re ankle’s probably healed by now. I hope, at least, that it’s well on its way to healing. Have a good summer, Sherri, and take care

    Like

  19. Ste J says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your injury which I hope is progressing well, it’s been a funny old time but I am glad that you are keeping on keeping on. I look forward to the dramatic fanfare of your September arrival.

    Like

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