Personal // 10 things

*Warning - self indulgent post!* It was supposed to be a week until I got my X-ray to see whether the operation on my ankle has worked and then hopefully having my plaster off but I received an appointment from the hospital for the week after - maaaaaaan, my heart sank. I know in the grand scheme of things an extra week is nothing but when what's been driving you is counting down the days it can seem like a year! So I wrote a list of things I've missed doing both to keep me going and to remind me so when I'm fighting fit I can look back on the last 3 months (I suppose in essence too the last 6 years). Then it occurred to me by sharing the list I might, just might, inspire you to never take your mobility for granted - stretch for a few minutes every morning instead scrolling through Facebook, get out and breath in some sea air, walk around your local shops, indulge in a hot bath, walk from room to room with a cup of tea, spend 5 minutes pulling a few weeds out the garden...

SWIMMING // Oh man, swimming. I miss you. There is something about just gliding through a pool that allows you to process the day and your thoughts. And that fresh feeling you get after it is like nothing achievable by any other means.

DEREK // For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, Derek is my trusty steed. We've had some awesome adventures together but if I needed to pop to the shop or post a letter it would be Derek I'd hop on. But for the moment he's sat getting mouldy in the shed and instead I sit looking wistfully out the window every Saturday at the cyclists flying knowing my 'bike thighs' have definitely taken a hike. Sob.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

DRIVING // I think I will throw a party for when I can drive again, Little Suze (my little Suzuki) is sat out the back and I long to hop in her and go for adventures. I'm the kind of person that needs air and often on a day off I'd drive somewhere like the Beacon or Birling Gap and just breathe in the air. It's not quite the same having to catch 3 buses to get there.

Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge
Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

PHOTOGRAPHY // I've had to carry on working (self employment equals no sick pay) so photos have been taken (and for this blog of course) but in the down time I can't stop thinking of the photos I want to take outside of the house - I really miss just wandering around with my film camera and pointing it at stuff. I'll probably go into photo taking overdrive when the plaster is off so be prepared for a barrage.

Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge
Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

HAVING A BATH // Running a bath, getting undressed, sinking into it.... bliss. Unless you have to cover your leg with a huge unattractive plastic pouch, balance while lowering yourself in with said leg swung over the side and spend the whole time fretting about getting it wet. Forget it, I'll have a shower instead... oh.

SOFT LEGS // Soft legs is that feeling you get on a Sunday morning or when you're super knackered and get into bed - you kick your legs about slowly and the feel of the sheets on your legs feels soon good. Even better when you have shaved legs. Know the one? Mmmmmm... now imagine trying to do it with a rock hard blue plaster on one leg.

BIMBLING // There is nothing I love more than just bimbling about. Browse a shop. Have a tea. Go to a flea market. Without knocking everything over with your metal sticks and every third person asking you if the other person came out worse. Crutches and bimbling do not work.

LONDON // I can't wait to get up to London as soon as this plaster is off. Anyone who's been on crutches/has lessened mobility will tell you London and public transport is not the place to be. I miss galleries, Carnaby St, Stokey, Brixton etc.

iPhone i
iPhone i

CARRYING A CUP OF TEA (GLASS OF WINE) // What is such a simple task becomes a mountain to climb when you have no hands. Solutions have included balancing on one leg while zigzagging the mug from various surfaces to the sofa hopping between them or nestling a flask and mug in a rucksack so I can have a cuppa at my desk.

TALKING ON THE PHONE WHILE POTTERING // Phone calls have had to become totally scheduled as I can use the crutches and hold the phone at the same time. Most phone calls for me last about an hour (I actually have a bit of a phone phobia so try and talk by email for quick things. I know - weird but my sister has it too) and this means I will have to dedicate this time to be sat in one spot - this is no easy feat for me. I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Of course there are many other things I'm looking forward to getting back to and the timing is just right with everyone feeling the joy of Spring on the way - hopefully I'll be whizzing about and shed the 'crutch weight'. I do have mightily strong shoulders though!

On a serious note, hopefully this operation will ease the pain for me but having this ankle issue the past 6 years has really made me appreciate what it's like for elderly people (or younger of course) with arthritis. Never underestimate what pain they might be in -arthritis is horrendously painful and just popping to the shops can be a huge mountain to climb. If you have a friend, neighbour or come across someone in the supermarket don't ignore them, instead offer them a helping hand - it might just make everything just that little more bearable.

All photos in this post shot on iPhone and edited with VSCOcam.

Formally Emma Gutteridge