A slightly longer visit to the gym on Monday morning – just over the hour so more opportunity to exercise the biceps. It feels like almost every other exercise is now focused on the arms – quite unlike the previous 5 years of gym membership. The main drawback is that my right elbow now has a bit of a niggle – caution needed, I think.
Swim doctor session on Monday evening, mostly front crawl but with some backstroke and a few drills – in all, a bit over 1,000m.
We had planned to run on Tuesday morning but it snowed overnight so I did a short gym session instead. Later, I went to the doctor’s surgery for a blood pressure test, having been messed about by a pharmacy last week. The normal range of readings is supposed to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. Most of the charts I found giving pressure by age only went up to 64 which left me guessing that if I have any pressure at all, I’m ahead of the game.
Not only did I have some pressure but, despite not being a smoker, overweight, unfit or particularly stressed, and being only a modest drinker (no alcohol Monday to Thursday), my reading was pretty high at about 160/80. I feel rather cheated.
My arteries did not explode, so I drove to Newbury to collect the sofa we’ve had re-covered for our older son and his girlfriend. As we progress with the decorating of their place while they are off on sabbatical (they have now left Argentina and Patagonia and flown to New Zealand) it will be good to get the sofa back in its rightful place.
The plan to do Tuesday’s missed run on Wednesday was thwarted by more snow. It was a bit deeper than Tuesday and snowed pretty much all day so I fled to the gym again. I managed all the usual exercises and weights but three days in a row is plenty.
Later I went out and got an automatic blood pressure kit and, in the evening, I had a reading down at 127/67. It’s really quite confusing – and an outlier reading of 115/69 on Thursday morning didn’t exactly make it clearer.
Thursday was wet and dreary so I took a rest day. I went to a shed and the Yale padlock broke with the whole barrel falling out of it. After deciding that sawing through it would take the rest of my life, I managed (thanks to YouTube, of course) to understand the workings and open it. Another happy hour wasted.
Gym on Friday morning, in the snow. As it was the fourth time at the gym in the week, and I’d not been running, I split the time between the weights and the treadmill. A bit of a compromise on both counts – 4km running in 23m 15s and 30 minutes of weights. That was followed by the inevitable bike shop session.
On Saturday I drove up to see our younger son and his girlfriend, returning in time for friends coming for supper. Sunday we both drove to Kingston-Upon-Thames for another decorating session with the parents of our older son’s girlfriend – It’s taken quite an effort but we are getting there.
More blood pressure readings every morning and evening. Happily, the 160 systolic score has not been repeated – over the last three days the readings have been very consistent and the average is 122/73. It’s odd – I don’t believe I had ‘white coat syndrome’ when I went to the surgery (besides, it was done by a nurse in a blue dress). The only thing I’ve done is to cut down on my coffee intake – surely that couldn’t have such a large effect so quickly?
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: Wisdom does not come overnight
2. BBC News website: Something to whine about
A former Mexican beauty queen and her partner have been jailed in Spain for four years for stealing 45 bottles of wine worth an estimated $1.7m (£1.4m).
According to the court, the woman checked into an exclusive hotel in October 2021 using a fake Swiss passport. She was joined by her partner and after a 14-course meal, and a guided tour of the wine cellar, the man returned in the early hours of the following morning to raid the cellar.
The bottles were stuffed into their backpacks – one had a unique 19th Century vintage and is reported to have been worth €350,000 (£310,000).
How big were the backpacks to take 45 bottles?
3. BBC News website: Green is green, but business is business
The Dutch government plans to cut the number of flights (from 500,000 to 440,000 annually) operating from Amsterdam Schipol airport. The government cited local concerns about the impact of flying on noise pollution and climate and says it wants to strike a balance between the economic benefits of a large airport and a healthy living environment.
Five airlines are suing the government over the plan.
4. BBC News website: Simple investment or ‘sportswashing’?
Newcastle United’s takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in late 2021 was approved after “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi government would not have any control over the club.
However, in the US court case involving LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, the Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan has been described as “a sitting minister of the government” with “sovereign immunity”.
5. BBC News website: The mountains and hills may crumble … into the chocolate
Toblerone is to remove the picture of the Matterhorn mountain peak from its packaging when some of the chocolate’s production is moved from Switzerland to Slovakia. Strict rules have applied about “Swissness” since 2017 and national symbols cannot be used to promote milk-based products that are not made exclusively in Switzerland.
US firm Mondelez said the image of the 4,478m (14,692 ft) mountain will be replaced by a more generic summit.
6. BBC News website: A DeLorean, I assume
Three Croatian nationals have been arrested in Serbia after radioactive material was discovered in their car, Serbian officials say. They were about to enter Croatia on Saturday when scanners detected a “serious amount” of radiation.
A search of the car revealed the head of a radioactive lightning rod in the spare tyre slot of the boot. Such rods were widely used in the past, but are now largely being dismantled.
7. BBC News website: Out with the old, out with the new, out with the new, …
Watford FC, relegated from the Premier League last year, have appointed Chris Wilder as head coach having sacked Slaven Bilic after five months in charge.
Wilder has agreed a contract until the end of the season and is Watford’s ninth full-time manager since Javi Gracia’s departure in September 2019.
Most clubs have a ‘player of the season’ award. Watford will have enough candidates to have a vote for manager of the season.
Perhaps they also need to look at the person making the appointments?
BP – I’ve only ever had a high reading once in my life (no idea which part of the reading though) which happened a few minutes after arriving in the surgery having walked up a couple of flights of stairs. I returned the follow week for a recheck and having used the lift, at the suggestion of the nurse, all was fine. Hopefully your high reading is a similar aberration 🤞
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Thank you. It’s looking that way, two more readings this morning with another spookily consistent average of 122/75. I’d love stairs to be the answer to the high reading but it was a ground floor consulting room!
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Halfway through the post, and I was itching to type ‘buy your own monitor!’ in the comments…
Good to hear it’s normal. And it is. Keep doing what you’re doing (#notadoctor)
Also, I’m smiling at the thought of the graphic design team getting their brief this week. Make it look like a mountain. Like the Matterhorn. But not TOO like the Matterhorn…
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We’ve actually got one of the ‘rubber bulb and stethoscope’ kits left by my late mother-in-law. Room for error when operated by the untrained seemed too high – although it is good fun.
I think I remember skiing on Mount Generic some years ago but its profile is disappointingly ordinary and unmemorable.
When I have my bp eventually checked I will try not to think of this blog post and stay nice and calm, and think of little fluffy clouds, but not this post.
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Good idea – but if yours is high (it won’t be I’m sure … but just suppose it could be, for the sake of argument) then do remember this post as evidence that a week of testing at home can give a completely different picture.
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