Placebo effect? Who cares!

Today has been a good day.  It’s gorgeous, a little too warm in general for my liking, but clear skies, crisp and cool this morning and dry all day.  We had our regular weekend high class Tesco breakfast before our Saturday shop, and then we headed straight over to B&Q for some random DIY purchases.  We needed more woodchip for the border in the garden, and while we were there found some plastic border things which are better than the ones we were using.

I think I blogged about the last lot when we did the border, this lot are short sections, hammer-in, much sturdier and more durable and look a lot better.  So when we got back, since the weather was so decent we ripped up the old stuff and I hammered the new ones in.  We ended up doing about 5 hours of gardening, which included pruning the small apple tree right back now the leaves are starting to fall off (I have no clue what the best time of year to prune is, so don’t feel you need to correct me, we prune, when we want to prune).  Then we had to chop those branches up and get them into the brown bin1.  Since we were doing that, I chopped up the bigger logs almost from the pruning we did in the front garden a few weeks back that have been lying in the other border.

Then we decided to finally tackle the small shed’s load of cardboard.  We cleared out 70% of the cardboard that was in there a couple of years ago, it’s been there since we moved in.  But as we got near to the bottom it got more and more hairy to move it without freeing up about 100 spiders, so we stopped.  We really want to be able to use that shed for the lawn mower though, it’ll be much easier to get in and out than the other shed, so we sucked it up and pulled all the cardboard out.

Some of those spiders are the size of squirrels.

I’m not arachnaphobic.  I don’t like being surprised by something that’s moving quickly, no matter how big it is, but if I can see a spider and know which way it’s going they don’t frighten me as such, even if they’re on me.  It’s when I’m not sure if they’re on me, or not sure where they’re going to come from or where they are headed that just surprises me and gives me that fright.  Grete is arachnaphobic, but can overcome that with the sort of aggression only usually seen in gladiatorial arenas or bad cases of PMT.

Anyway, once all the cardboard was out, Grete set about chopping it up into sections.

As well as not being arachnaphobic, I’m not claustraphobic either.  However, I think it’s perfectly normal to be a little bit squicked out when you’re in a tight space and surrounded by spiders or other small insects you can’t see but which may be dropping onto you and wandering around your head.  It’s that which to date has stopped us squeezing between the shed and next door’s shed to cut down the sycamore which is regrowing at the bottom of the garden.  Last year, our next door neighbour had the hedge removed and put a fence up.  It’s a nice fence, we weren’t sorry to see it going up and we didn’t like the hedge.  We were a bit sad that she wanted us to have the sycamore chopped down, but we also agreed it wasn’t something either of us could managed.  We paid her contractors to sort the tree, while she paid for the fence.

Now the sycamore is back, not really our fault, but it’s now stuck at the bottom of the garden with no access, because the new fence goes up to our shed and leaves a gap a little less than a foot.  Once past that, there’s more like a foot and a half of space between the sheds, but as you can imagine, it’s pretty well populated with wildlife of the small and creepy kind.

However, it was time to give it a shot and I was pleased to find out I can squeeze through that gap, and as long as I didn’t think about it too much I was ok once I was in the narrow space.  So a bit of chopping and sawing later and the sycamore is back to a tiny stump, and as we know, since nature always prevails, it’ll be back soon enough.  But now we know we can get to it.

We tidied up, put loads of stuff in bags, sorted the cardboard, and have a whole bunch of stuff for several tip runs tomorrow.

I don’t know if using the Wii Fit for 14 days has given me more energy or not, but it certainly feels like it’s done so, and that’s what matters.  I’m not sure I would have been up for 5 hours worth of gardening a few weeks back.  We’ve made huge inroads into some of the stuff that’s been bugging us for ages, and the garden hasn’t looked better than this, including when we first moved in.  Most of that effort is down to Grete since she mows the grass, weeds the border and keeps it in good shape, I’m more of a desctructive energy gardener, but still.  Five hours, and although I’m knackered, I’m not falling over dead knackered.

So, placebo effect or not, 30 minutes of exercise a day (spread out over 40 to 60 minutes as it is with the Wii Fit) certainly feels like it’s elevated my mood, given me more energy in general and made a serious difference.  I don’t even really care if I’ve lost weight I just feel better.

Fingers crossed it’s having a beneficial effect on my blood sugar levels (which reminds me, my HbA1c blood test appointment letter came through, fingers crossed).

  1. our council collects garden refuse once every two weeks in a brown wheelie bin []