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Wednesday 2nd January 2019


My first  stone clearing of the new year, though stone clearer years are delineated as the time it takes to clear your own particular field, so your puny human calendar means nothing to me. The mysterious person who had left the Merry Christmas stone on the cairn had turned it over to reveal that on the other side it wished us a happy new year. I allowed them this indulgence. Even though the new year is probably centuries away.
I recorded another SCWRH podcast and though it looked like no one was around, eventually I did encounter another dog walker with a dog wearing a vest saying it was anxious. I don't want you thinking that all dogs in Hertfordshire have mental illnesses. What I want you to know is that we look after the ones that do.
And without giving too many spoilers (spoiler alert) there was a delicious and terrible incident earlier in the walk when I saw a big stone in the next field, a field that I do not yet clear and went to look at it and saw that that field is strewn with huge stones that no one seems to be clearing. It was like arriving in California in 1849 to discover a patch of land covered in gold that no one had seen before - it genuinely looked like the surface of the moon. Could I control my own stone greed and leave the stones to the rightful stone clearer and thus break all rules of stone-clearing (there are no rules)? Or did I greedily grab them and put them in a cairn that was technically between the two fields, but still, morally speaking in my field? Would that constitute bringing stones from somewhere else?

And of course I am now again obsessed with diet and counting calories. My 40 minute stone clearing walk used up 130 calories (though I don't know if my Apple Watch is able to determine the extra exertion of lifting and throwing stones). I had started the day with steak and eggs and a vegetable stir fry and had a veggie chilli for lunch and somewhat decadent salmon blinis for dinner. But because I hadn't had any alcohol or chocolate all day and had had a couple of dog walks I still had enough calories in the bank to have a little supper of cereal and be 100 calories under the target. It always amazes me how much you can eat on a diet as long as you choose your foods carefully. It's the snacking and the boozing that cause the damage. This last year I have felt like I need a little drink to calm my nerves after finally getting my horrible children to bed, but it's actually just a habit. A wonderful habit that makes you feel like a god. But a habit nonetheless.
And it's one that impacts at the other end of the day of course. 
Goodness knows how long I will keep up the facade of wanting to be healthy this time round, but certainly in the short term, the sleep and the energy from eating vegetables for breakfast have been amazing. I always ask myself to remember this when I am tempted to go back to the bad old ways of the real me, but I always choose to forget.
Well not this time, my friends. Not this time… cut to….

And RHLSTP with Joe Lycett and the amazing Esme went up today
Here it is on video 


And it's on audio here

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