Another walk, with added guilty pleasures…

I had a chest infection last week. It seemed to be end result of weeks or even months of wheezing.
I’d started to feel a bit wheezy in the summer, when the maize plants were flowering and it came and went after that.
By Christmas, I was waking myself up at night, with alarming rattles in my windpipe and dry coughing.
I thought that this could be a side-effect of Amitriptyline, which I take for nerve pain, so I reduced the dose to 25mgs per night, not the self-indulgent 50mg, that turns all those tight nerves all fuzzy and relaxed.
This didn’t seem to help and then suddenly, I had a pain in my right side. I have muscle spasms there and have had them for years, but this pain was different. It was in the same place and didn’t respond to pressure, as muscle spasms do.
Off I went to the doctor, feeling rather ill by this time and came away with a drug to hydrate my windpipe and bronchial area, nuclear-strength antibiotics and Ventolin.

This has worked wonders and so, like my mother and my grandmother, I have late-onset asthma.
The sun is shining today – with nice dry, squeaky-clean air and so I went for a walk.
To cut to the asthma part, I was quite wheezy on the return journey and the Ventolin fixed this.
So, back to the guilty pleasures…
We’d found a lost cd in a box upstairs. Upstairs in our house, there are few rooms and many, many boxes.
The compact disc was ‘The Heart of Chicago’ and I’d last heard it in 2002, after which it fell down the back of a cupboard and disappeared.
I have nice new headphones, (a little larger than I imagined they’d be) and have had a great deal of fun playing my Red Priest recordings, which brings Angela East’s cello into beautiful, rich fruition.
The Chicago recording has been a delightful wallow in sound. A nice load of echo on the off-beat drum measures, great vocals, wonderful harmonies – especially on the ‘Wish you were here’ track, which must have been written as an homage to the Beach Boys’ close harmony specialisation.
The real guilty pleasure, were the three songs that I walked up the hill to, ‘You’re the Inspiration’, ‘If You Leave Me Now’ (so much nice on headphones than through a tinny transistor in the 1970s) and ‘You’re a Hard Habit to Break’.
I got to top of a nice field and picked my way carefully down to some pinewoods, trying not to get soaked feet. I walked through the small pine plantation at the bottom of the field and reached ‘the footpath-from-hell’.
This short pathway looks benign enough, but in the winter, a small watercourse seems to spring up and it looks as though it has been trampled by vast hordes of cows. It hasn’t, as it has had the Galician cow repellent applied….a strand of orange baling twine. This is guaranteed to prevent those pesky “Wrong path, Coño” problems.
There is an alternate pathway now, which cuts through my friend Manolo’s wood, over a stone wall – not a tall or difficult wall, but when you can’t bend one knee and have MS, this is now a level 6 wall. Careful now…
I reached the end of the alternate route, to discover that Manolo had put a cow and person proofed gate up. This meant, scrambling up the wall (a much higher wall – at waist height) and then swinging my legs over the ‘gate’.
A gate in Galicia can be anything from an old bedstead, to a grand electric affair. This particular type is wire netting, attached to stakes and held in place with good cabling.
I don’t know how I got over this gate. My first effort at leg swinging didn’t go so well, so I imagined my leg clearing the gate and lo, it did!
The right leg – for years the ‘bad’ leg, with no cartilage and too stiff to bend, went over easily and to my enormous surprise, I was down on the ground on the other side of the wall and so surprised by my courage, that I treated myself to ‘You’re a Hard Habit to Break’ all over again, very loudly. All the way home. ¡Carallo!

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