We are on holiday this week, staying in Freston Tower – the strange building in the photo. It was built in 1580 as a folly, but about 50 years ago it was converted into holiday accommodation. It’s on six floors, each one a fairly small room, and they are all linked by a pretty tight spiral staircase. It struck me one evening, in the top floor sitting room, how there are some things I have done this week that would have been near-impossible for the ten-stone-heavier Steve of a couple of years ago…
- Taking a shower. It’s a good shower, but it’s not a big cubicle, and is of the size I stopped using in about 1990.
- Cutting my toenails before putting my walking boots on. It seems like a tiny detail, but cutting toenails is a major problem if you are very obese.
- There are a lot of great footpaths around here, and we have been out and about every day. We’ve covered about eight miles each day, which I am beginning to take for granted, but the ten-stone-heavier Steve thought that walking 50 yards to the car was quite an achievement.
- We ate in a restaurant with wraparound chairs. How I used to hate those things! Instant humiliation. But this week we were halfway through our meal before I even noticed that’s what we were sitting on.
- And, of course, renting this building at all. The ten-stone-heavier Steve would have had enough trouble even getting through the tiny door, but using the spiral staircase would have been dangerous and totally exhausting. And you have to use that staircase a lot – if, for example, you’re in the sitting room, and fancy a cup of coffee, it’s four floors down, then four floors up again (without spilling the coffee!)
I do take things like these for granted more and more, but I think it’s important for me to remind myself occasionally of what a huge improvement they are. If nothing else, it’s even more motivation for NOT getting reacquainted with ten-stone-heavier Steve!