Definitely not resolutions – as I said earlier, I don’t do those – more along the lines of ambitions. These are things that need to be done if I’m to get my life back on track now my legs are healing – Lymphoedema is incurable, but the leaks have gone and the remaining lesions have almost completely healed, though I have to accept that either or both might be back at some point – first among them being get out more, before Cabin Fever sets in! If, indeed, it hasn’t already.
Before I can do that, I need to be able to walk again, and not just a very few yards within my flat. First, though, I have to be able to wear boots, or shoes, at least – these are still some way off as even socks are painful after a few hours and my Ugly Shoes even more so. And I need to stop falling before I break a hip, which probably means dusting off my crutches.
I still have two small, open, wounds on my right leg, near the ankle, so I need to make a protector for that – a hard plastic shell lined with a doughnut of foam, so that no pressure is put on the wounds by boots. That’s doable – I have the material for the shell, I need a foam insulating mat to cut the doughnut from, a strap (got lots), and some glue. In fact, I could make the whole thing mostly out of insulating mat, with just a small plate of hard plastic directly over the hole in the centre, in which case it would be light enough to be held in place with tubular bandage.
I’m not banking on being able to walk far – those days are gone – but being able to go to the pub for lunch, and walk to the Gents and back, or to the bar, would be a massive bonus. Right now, though, even pottering around my flat is purgatory, though I try to hide it from the few visitors I have (but I’ve probably just blown it – don’t care, the charade is too wearing).
A rather more viable target, I suspect, is getting back into bread-making, to which end I’ve just ordered a batch of organic flour:-
2 x 2.5kg Strong white bread flour
2 x 2.5kg Stoneground Wholemeal
2 x 1kg Light rye
2 x 1kg Wholemeal Spelt
2 x 1kg White Spelt (which is actually a pale gold)
1kg (a test batch) Canadian Strong White Bread Flour
This is doable, depending on pain levels which, I’ve just discovered, can be pretty appalling if I have the temerity to indulge in the slightest activity. After almost 18 months of enforced inactivity, my OA has locked down with a vengeance. However, that’s why I use a stand mixer for the grunt work, leaving just the tasks that need more finesse than muscle to be done by hand.
What I want to try is long-fermented bread, which has a better flavour than normal bread. The Canadian flour is, apparently, perfect for such bread, having a particularly robust protein structure. The problem is knowing how well I’m going to be days in advance which, at the moment, is quite impossible, so it will be a bit by guess and by god, and I’ll have to resurrect my workbook to keep track of what I’m doing, what works, and what doesn’t.
And if those plans work out, I want to make my own sausages and black pudding again, but they are pretty labour-intensive, and need me to be able to spend a lot of time on my feet, which takes us full circle, back to my first point. Might not happen.
Of the three, I’m most confident that bread is doable, as it needs my attention only in short bursts.
A freezer tip: Flour bought in bulk freezes well.** However, as I discovered last week, the paper sacks can freeze to the shelves/basket bottoms if you have an old-style freezer that need periodic defrosting. I found that out the hard way. Put them in plastic carrier bags.
**The best bread I ever made was using flour straight from the freezer, and hand-hot water. Go figure…
And even if I can’t walk any better than I can now, I still need footwear if I don’t want frozen feet when (if), I go out using my powerchair, and they’ll also cushion and support my feet if I can stand in the kitchen. Bare feet make standing painful. When I was struck by lightning in 1983 it literally fried my feet, melting the fatty pads that normally cushion the sole so, in bare feet, all that’s between the bones of my feet and the ground/floor is a thin layer of flesh, and skin – none of the natural padding that used to be there – the sensation is akin to walking barefoot on a shingle beach, and about as much fun.
There’s something else too – I really have to write more.