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Quote of the day - ‘Sweat is your fat crying.’ - Unknown

Something very odd has happened.

Not only have I lumped on the weight over the last few months - enormously distressing - but also it has been confirmed that I have shrunk.

To combat the first of those two issues, realistically the only one I have any control over, I have decided now is the time to start a fitness regime. I am now not allowed to do any exercise involving impact so have taken the plunge and am going for a new bike. Being of advancing years and nursing a spine as fragile as a house of cards, I am having a leg up and venturing into the electric bike world. An assistant to the fierce local hills.

I take on an epic research project.

Hurdle number one is wading through the e-bikes available. I’m not a great lover of slouching low over the handlebars, having suffered miserably from hideous haemorrhoids previously. Racing bike styles are fearfully prone to setting off another bout of these infernal bodily bunches of grapes, so I am going for a more upright version.

To further complicate things I now need to look at the refined list. It’s a plethora of various makes and models of e-bikes. Simon loves doing this sort of thing and can happily while away hour upon cosy hour doing it. I get bored and muddled heading off down many distracting rabbit holes. Knowing my concentration limitations fully, I rule out the very top and bottom of the price range jobbies, and those that have poor reviews both from the internet and friends or family’s personal recommendations.

I’m liking one that is suggested for beginners, a reasonable price, has good reviews and looks ok.

Finally deciding on a particular make and model, there is then the decision of which size to order. In feet and inches, it is simple. I am 5 feet 6 inches tall or 168 cm tall and have been all my adult life. It is this that dictates the size of bike I will need. Although my legs are a full 30 cm shorter than I would like, they are only marginally shorter than an average leg. This is also important in the sizing process.

Irritatingly, I find my ignominious height is neither one thing nor the other. I am on the exact cusp of two sizes. My family love it that out of the eleven of us in the immediate nest, I am the second shortest, only having exceeded my diminutive daughter. They continue to mercilessly rip the living piss out of Louise and I, ad infinitum.

Back to the e-bike. So I’m either at the top end of the ‘small’ sized e-bike or at the bottom of the ‘medium’, given that the switchover sizing hinges on that all important height of 168 cm, that being 5 feet 6 inches in old money.

Simon brandishes a tape measure and settles it once and for all. It is conclusive and irrefutable.

”Are you absolutely sure?“ I whine.

”Completely,” comes the reply.

Not only have I widened comprehensively, I can categorically confirm that I have lost a full two centimetres in height, as they say often happens, upon reading of spinal fusion’s additional effects. I am now no more than 166 cm tall, having lost two of my precious centimetres.

This has an unnerving effect on me whereby I fathom that at present I need ‘larger’ clothes but for a ’smaller’ person. Very distressing indeed.

So it has to happen. A few years ago I embarked on a fitness regime and loved it and the way the lard melted away.

The time is now. My back is sufficiently better to undertake such a quest with care.

Local friends can soon expect visits from a sweating, rosy faced, weeble on an e-bike very soon. Less local friends? Well, you never know in the future. A very Lovely Friend Debbie who had exactly the same spinal fusion many years ago, recently cycled from Lands End to John O Groats, or the other way round perhaps. Not only that, but she has recently beaten breast cancer too. An amazing feat.

She isn’t stopping there either and is venturing onto other extraordinary cycling challenges too.

Apparently, my e-bike will be delivered in 24-48 hours.

Hopefully, it will help elevate my metabolism and I will regain my love of all things aerobic, which currently runs at absolutely zero.

I implore you all to keep badgering me about it incessantly after I ride those first few metres. I cannot continue feeling like a lump of lard any longer.

You heard it here first.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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