Archive | August 31, 2014

Stepping out in Steptember

You know how I like alliteration or a play on the name of the month to tie in with my goals? Well, here I was thinking I’d been slightly original.

Let me preface my tale of minimal disappointment with my latest toy.

A couple of weeks ago I got one of these:

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Where, how, how cheaply are details for another time.

Oh, what is it you ask? This little black strap is a Fitbit. It measures my steps and sleep. (I’ll write about sleep tracking another time too.) Data is synced with my computer and uploads to some cloud somewhere and then automatically/immediately/scarily goes to my iPad – by email, by message and on the app.

Ok, ok, I’ve had other gadgets before. A GPS watch thingy with a heart rate monitor, and a plain pedometre. And I loved each initially but soon dropped them. The heart rare strap was annoying and restrictive and the GPS always took too long to find satellites. And the pedometre’s battery went flat. I had discarded it earlier as I didn’t like the way it clipped on.

So then I got this one. And I have all the fervour of a new convert. I love my fit bit.

Apparently “they” say you are meant to do 10,000 steps. Don’t know who they are because my problem is trying to get my head around the number of steps. For the past two weeks my goal had been 8,000 steps. Most times I achieved my goal, it has been a conscious effort. Occasionally I achieved or exceeded the goal without a deliberate plan, just did a lot of walking. What I’ve realised is how sedentary my life is. If I don’t make an effort, I don’t even get to 8,000 steps. Last Saturday, for example, I only got to 2,677 steps. Drive to hairdressers, sister-in-law’s place for lunch, post-lunch nap and then off to a work event meant I had no time to go for a walk.

Anyway I thought I would try for 10,000 steps in September. It will be a challenge. One to which I will rise.

Which brings me to my mild disappointment. I was going to call it Steptember. But, of course, I find I am not original. And in the era of every charity having a gimmick, one charity has taken on Steptember. So if I say I am doing Steptember, people will think I am doing the charity thing. I’m not. I just like giving my goals and plans a name. So then I will have to explain that I am not walking for charity, just for my health.

So does anyone want to join me and track their walking in Steptember? Apparently this groovy little ting also uploads to WordPress. More scary tracking things!

Reading in August

Two lovely books this month.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette (and don’t start humming Where do you go to, my lovely, when you’re alone in your bed…) by Maria Semple.

Love the characters, the farce, the sense of place. A quick and engaging read. (I’d love to be the super-intelligent, creative Bernadette, but fear I’m more like the mothers she rails against. Oh, well, at least I’m self-aware!)

Here’s a quote to make you reflect:

The choice of private schools is both fear-based and aspirational. Mercedes Parents are afraid their children won’t get ‘the best education possible’ which has nothing to do with actual education and everything to do with the number of other Mercedes Parents at a school.

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Sheila by Robert Wainwright tells the largely unknown tale of an amazing it girl. Mistress of our current Queen’s father (prior to his marriage to the Queen Mother), friend of the rich and famous, Sheila Chisholm was an Aussie sheila who led an amazing life of fashion, travel and frivolity mainly in London but also New York, Hollywood and the south of France for most of the early and middle twentieth century.

Wainwright has stitched together Sheila’s life from the writings, diaries and letters of many sources, as well as the many articles written about her when she graced the social pages of London’s newspapers. I loved how he sketched out the details of others in her life, including her best friend who was the mistress of the Prince of Wales, and through whom she met Albert (later King George VI).

Long and detailed, it is still a riveting read.