Hi all preserving Peeps - I do really hope that you were able to have the Christmas that made you happy and that not too many of you were affected by the storms. We were OK here in Rutland and some of you that have come to classes know that we are on top of a steep hill so it has to be very bad for us to be flooded! It's a different story if it snows though - we can be marooned for quite a while. If you have been affected, or know someone that was, let us know as there may be something we can do to get replacement preserving kit together when the time is right.
I decided before Christmas that I needed to make some changes to go forward. Some of you know that I have an on-going struggle with fibromyalgia ( look it up! ) and I have realised that although there is no treatment as such, lifestyle is all. If you can push through the pain barrier exercise helps tremendously and, in the Summer, I usually get enough exercise through gardening. We have a large 'difficult' garden and it is never ending work, so is fit for purpose, as it were. Nevertheless, I can't do some of the heavy work now so I am enlisting some muscle from the end of this month, just so that I can keep up! Just once a month, but it will help tremendously.
The Winter is another matter though and I asked Father Christmas if I could have a Fitbit (pictured) just so that I could measure what is going on - or not, to be more accurate! The version I have measures steps, fluids, activity, calories and, most interestingly, sleep patterns. Sleep is a particular problem with fibro with broken, restless sleep being the norm. You are then consequently worn out during the day. This is shown graphically on the readout from the Fitbit dashboard and, if nothing else, has made Trev understand my reality.
The Fitbit syncs with my phone and I can keep track there or on my laptop - it is also synced with WeightWatchers so the data I enter there is shared. I only use WW to work out my daily diet - I don't use their products as a lot of them have Fructose-Glucose in them. It makes me weigh myself though and to keep on the straight and narrow ( or wide, in my case). The Fitbit has little lights in its display on the bracelet which light up as you reach each break point in your daily steps total - and it does make you want to be more active to light up all five. I haven't achieved that yet but it is early days and my days are all topsy turvy with the holidays.The psychological pressure is interesting though. We have also joined the spa/gym at a local hotel, mainly so that I can use the sauna and jacuzzi to see if it helps with pain-relief. I might even learn to swim!
My main decision though, is to stop cooking for third parties - except for one of my more appreciative customers. My Doctor has wanted me to stop for some time and I have come to realise that he is right. I shall then concentrate on teaching, writing, blogging and demonstrating. I have missed having the time for recipe development, researching the history of preserving and working on the Guild, and will be excited to re-connect with these areas. I shall still have preserves on sale in The Old Smithy, and will be able to source exciting products for the LoveJars website. I can't wait.
Finally, we still have the bargain price on our maslin pan at just £19.99 - but this is only until the end of the next week. The price will have to go up then to the full retail of £29.99. The bargain jars with orange lid - ideal for marmalade - will be held for the time being but don't leave it too late! We have muslin and labels as well so get prepared, ready for the oranges to arrive.
Of course, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and lots of peaceful preserving xx