annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 63

My Wednesday and Friday yoga teacher is doing a dissection course online which is seeping into her practice. This week they considered fascia, the layer of connective tissue immediately under the skin. I lie on my mat in the back room, trying not to look at the bird shit on the glass roof of the conservatory, focusing on my breath, in and out, as she burbles on about fascinating fascia. I can't remember anything of what she said, just her enthusiasm. I'm caught up in the movement of the breath. When I'm vertical, sat in my chair to meditate, breathing in seems like an upward motion as the chest rises, but actually the air is coming in and moving down, from the nose to the lungs. I've struggled with this, to feel it as a downward motion - I never even thought about it till the other day when someone said in a class to feel the breath moving down as you breathe in - surreal moment of realising I'd always imagined it wrongly, for about ten years of meditation and focusing on the breath.  I'm still working on feeling the movement of the breath not the chest, but now, today, I'm lying down and man, it all goes weird - I have to work extra hard to separate breath and chest. Which is why I still know fuck all about the fascia. Shirley lay pressed against my side through most of the class - it was a restorative yoga class and we mainly lay on our mats with a bit of sitting up.

I phoned my GP about the sciatica, just to get a proper, qualified person's view on it. He agreed that it almost certainly is sciatica, that acupuncture has been keeping it at bay, but in the absence of that, painkillers are the only option - he offered me all kinds of heavy duty ones, gabapentin, and I thought he'd said amitriptyline but when I googled that to see how to spell it, it's for mental health so god knows. I have a pack of cocodamol and he said he'd send a prescription for more to the pharmacy. I've had them since last year's pneumonia and have only taken two since lockdown began - I don't want to take them too often as constipation is a side effect and no thanks.

This afternoon I visited both my friends who live over the hills and have the same name. With the first one we exchanged tomato plants then both leaned against our cars at a distance as we caught up on stuff. She'd put her plants for me out on the step, I collected them and left mine for her, went back to my car and only then did she come out. The rules are mental - it's not allowed for me to go and sit in her back garden which I bet is looking glorious right now and although we could ignore that, there are fines for breaking the rules and pissy neighbours would know because of my car being parked there and might grass me up. I stayed there for about an hour, shivering in the cold north wind, then drove round to my other pal's house, where we sat on low front garden walls for another cold but great hour. As I wrote that piece for the mass observation yesterday I saw how much contact I do have with friends and family, via phone and what have you, but it's not enough. You need to see people and to have a hug - this was much better than phones, but knowing we have to be 2m apart adds a layer of weirdness and more separation than just that physical distance.

On the way home I parked at the bottom of a path I've driven past hundreds of times and walked all the way up this really steep hill, plod plod, huff puff, pause, on again, plod plod, huff puff. I was overtaken by an old man in shorts and a vest, running, running up this hill I couldn't even walk up without having to take more and more pauses. I walked on a chalky path, between close cropped grassy fields - sheep and their big lambs were on my right - a bunch of these lambs escorted me up the hill on their side of the fence, baaing and jumping about, very jolly. I was walking towards the east, away from the river valley below and had to keep turning round to take in the view across to the hills up the other side, the moving patches of sunlight as the wind whipped the clouds along, briefly lighting up sections into bright green




Today I am grateful for: yoga; shepherd's pie - I made it before I went out and just had to assemble it later; gardening exchanges; notes and comments (hint hint); fresh air and getting up to the top of the hill even with a dodgy leg.



12:33 a.m. - 14.05.20


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