Out the other side

Well – I didn’t follow through with my wish to post a bit more often – as usual with these kind of things, life gets in the way and provides plenty of distraction. This time, though, life threw a major curveball when Coronavirus hit and hit hard. Not long after my last post, the UK went into official lockdown and life became very surreal.

It would have been real easy for lockdown to cause a spiral of depression, mainly because all shops were closed, and we could only go to the supermarket. Fortunately though, the government straight off the bat said that we could exercise for up to an hour each day, but only walking distance from our place of residence. For me, this meant that I could go out walking each day in the locality where I live. The first few days were just walking around the block, but gradually my horizons increased and I was doing up to an hour of walking each day. The weekends gave a longer uninterrupted time, allowing me to stretch even further and start to explore some of the public footpaths around the local area. It was a revelation to me just how open the countryside was, as I wandered through fields and over hills following wherever my feet would take me.

In short, I’ve found out more about the area around Trowbridge in the last six months than I have in the previous 15 years of living in this area. I’ve found river swimming areas, fields full of sweetcorn, cattle grazing, sheep out at pasture, cream teas and all sorts of vistas and landscapes – and that’s just for starters.

The biggest benefit has been the weather – it has been absolutely glorious for most of the year since March, which has done wonders for mental health. I’ve never really had to worry about rain apart from one walk where I got caught in a brief downpour. Other than that, I’ve been able to roam freely and enjoy the outdoors. My longest walk so far has been around 12 miles, and took me all along the canal through to Staverton, and then back through Paxcroft Mead and the town to home.

The upshot of all this walking is that some of the weight that I piled on in KL has started to come off – I have lost around 32lbs in total from when I last measured in Malaysia, which was mid-January. The majority of that has come through walking, although a reasonable amount has also been due to changes in my diet. Since coming back from Malaysia, I’ve done a lot more cooking and while I wouldn’t describe myself as a competent chef, I have at least been able to make some dishes that have gone down well and provided enough for lunch the next day!

Work has been fun since I came back – it’s been good to look at different things, and be more operationally focused than perhaps I have been previously. My horizons are expanding, and I am grappling with some really interesting challenges, made all the more dynamic given the rate of change coming from Microsoft.

Could life be any better? Well, yes, it probably could.

But, am I happy? Yes, I most definitely am…

Out the other side

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