September 2020 Monthly Update

Pond with trees around

Garry’s monthly update for September 2020, another quiet month, which seems to be the norm in this strange year! This time last year, I had already been away on four tours and was just about to head off to France to finish my Eurovelo tour. This year I’ve not been anywhere. What a difference a year makes! Although I still live in the hope that I may go away somewhere this year!

Health

That shingles episode that I had last month was worse than I thought and really knocked me for six! I’ve only just got over it! I never realised shingles could make you feel so ill! But now at the end of the month, I’m feeling a lot better, thankfully!

Other news on the health front, yes, for a change there’s more! I’ve been short of breath for the past few weeks, so I’ve had a full check-up on my heart! Blood tests, ECG and an x-ray, and yes, much to Julie’s surprise I do have one! Anyway, everything came back okay, apart from the x-ray, and I received a phone call from the doctor;

“Hello Mr McGivern, we’ve had the results from your x-ray,” said the doctor

“Oh, yes,” I replied

“Your heart seems okay and is functioning well, but did you know you’ve got multiple broken ribs?” She said

“Pardon?”

“Your right rib cage shows signs of multiple broken ribs, not at the moment, they’re old breaks that have heeled! Did you not know you’d broken them?” She asked.

“I know I fell over a few years ago, (Spain 2015) but, because I knew there was nothing that could be done for ribs, I never bothered doing anything about it! I said

“Umm! Well at least your heart is good, and we’ll review it again in six to twelve months, goodbye Mr McGivern.”

It was afterwards when talking to Julie that she reminded me that, I probably broke my ribs when I fell off my bike, after one or two too many beers! She said I was in pain for a long time but never got any sympathy as it was my own stupid fault! After telling me, I did remember, April 2017, I’d been to a beer festival with Dave and Helen, my good friends.

Garry McGivern enjoying a pint
Garry enjoying a pint at the beer festival before it all went wrong
Fame

Well, fame has finally caught up with me! I was cycling along the seafront minding my own business, when somebody passed me, going in the opposite direction. “I know you,” they said.

“Really?”

“Yes your that bloke from YouTube,” they replied.

“Maybe” I replied hesitantly.

“I’m Ben,” he said. I then knew who he was, he’s posted a few comments on my videos over the years. We stood chatting for a while, he had cycled down from Reading for a few days and was staying at his brothers. It was nice to put a face to a name.

Other News

Sad news this month with the closure of my favourite watering hole, the Fox inn has closed! And I’d be surprised if it were to reopen again this year! We’ve gone from four pubs in our village to one and a half in a few months! Half because one of the pubs only opens for a few hours a week!

Pint of lager
Last pint out of the barrel

Indya had her first birthday this month, and we had a small party for her. Where has that year gone!

Baby girl with birthday cake
Indya enjoying her birthday cake

 

 

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August 2020 Monthly Update

Beach and pier

Garry’s monthly update for August 2020, where did that month go? August seems to have flown by, yet I’ve not done anything or been anywhere! Oh, yes, I remember where it’s gone, working, doctors and hospital!

Health

Things on the health front haven’t been good! I’m back on steroids, had oedema and have now got shingles, and boy does it hurt! Considering what they are, or rather what they look like, a small rash, they’re so painful and uncomfortable! I can be sitting there okay, then all of a sudden it’s like somebody has stuck a knife in me! I think somebody has made a voodoo doll of me, sitting there stabbing it! And as for sleeping! I can’t lay on my back, and I can’t lay on my side! Let’s hope it eases soon!

Isle of Wight

I didn’t mention in last months update, but I’ve finally made it to the Isle of Wight this year! Unfortunately, it wasn’t a camping trip, but equally as good, a boys day out sailing. It was on the last day of the month, which was the main reason for not mentioning it last month. It was a great day out with suburb weather and favourable winds, we were under sail the entire time and hardly had to tack at all. Not that I would have noticed, I just sat back and drank beer!

4 men on a boat
The motley crew of 2020

Sad news on the ferry front, Brittany ferries, the ferry company I use to get to France have cancelled my favourite route, Portsmouth to Saint-Malo! Let’s hope it’s only a temporary measure, and they bring it back, for when I start travelling again. Speaking of travelling, I’m wondering if I should go away next month (September). Although the more I look at it, the more complicated it seems! Mind you if I’ve still got shingles, I definitely won’t be going anywhere!

 

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July 2020 Monthly Update

Field of wheat

Garry’s monthly update for July 2020, a busy, busy month!

I received a message via Instagram from a watch company earlier on in the month, asking me if I wanted to be an influencer for them! Really, I don’t even wear a watch! But hey ho I thought I’d see what it was all about, so I replied to them. Haha! What a con, I could buy one of their watches at a 50% discount, take a picture of myself wearing it (they’ve obviously not seen me!) and then they may, may! Post it on their website! Perhaps if they send me a watch for free, I may put a picture up on my website!

Garry’s takin’ us to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow! Not quite it was a couple of weeks ago, and we all took ourselves! With zoos allowed to re-open last month, we decided to go for a family day out to our local zoo, Marwell. It was Indya’s first trip to a zoo, and mine and Julies first time back there in over 20-years! It was a great day out enjoyed by everyone. The adults probably enjoyed it more than Indya, although she did react when she saw the animals! And because of social distancing rules, the park was relatively quiet, giving us plenty of opportunities to see the animals. And great value at only £22.

Family
Photo opportunity
Other News

Sad news as far as my hip operation goes, my consultant, Miss Hook, is leaving and going to a different hospital! I must admit that I’m a bit upset about it, although pleased for her. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here today, without her! And it would have been nice to finish my journey back to health, with her. Maybe I should follow her to her new hospital! I look forward to meeting my new consultant. Whenever that is!!

I’ve decided to return to work! Not that I feel fully fit or really able to do too much! But with travelling pretty much out of the question! And no sign of my hip getting operated on this year, there really wasn’t much else to do! I’m not doing a lot and can only generally work until midday! But the lady who I’m working for at the moment is happy with that. So it suits us both.

What with returning to work, I’ve not been out on the bike so much! And besides, I get bored cycling the same places! The other thing is, everywhere seems to be so busy, possibly because most people are holidaying in the UK!

On one of my rides out, I got as far as Chichester, and stopped by the cathedral, wondering where I should cycle to? As I sat there on my bike, I could hear the Peregrine falcons that nest on the cathedral roof making a hell of a racket! I’ve heard it many times before, but this time as I looked up, I spotted one of the falcons perched on a parapet. As I sat there watching and listening, I noticed two other falcons, one on each corner of the tower. It’s times like this when I wish I had a good camera!

Bird on castle
One of the peregrine falcons
Book

My fifth book, which I’ve finally managed to write is now out and available to buy from Amazon. It’s my bicycle tour of Italy in 2010. Although I’d started it sometime last year, I finished it off when we were in lockdown. Maybe if we have a few more lockdowns, I could get a few more of my tours out on paperback!

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June 2020 Update

Boats

It’s not been a particularly busy month, but it’s still been good! I’ve been allowed to hold Indya again, with the introduction of “bubbles!” I went out on an excellent bike ride with friends, had a family meal in the garden. Social distancing observed on both accounts! Managed to get a haircut, and lockdown gets eased from next week! (July 4th) With pubs, restaurants, hotels and campsites all being allowed to open!

The government introduced support bubbles, and I was allowed to have Vicky and her family around, and not have to keep my distance! I was also allowed to hold Indya, it didn’t go too well though! Indya burst into tears! But then I suppose she’s only had her mum and dad for the past three months! Which let’s face it, is one-third of her life! It’s a bit of a shame because, before the lockdown, she was happy to go to anybody! Things have improved a bit, and she will now sit with me for a while, as long as she can see mummy! I thought it was going to be my excuse for not babysitting!

Man and Baby
Who are you!
Out and About

Not too much to say on the cycling front, this month, what with not being able to go away. Although I did ride to Portsmouth (for a change!) and had a good time there, watching the boats coming and going in the harbour. On the way home I went on a detour to Bosham, it’s always lovely there. On the harbour road, there was a pair of swans with their cygnets. Who I passed by without any problem on my way to the quay. On my way back, though, they had moved and sat all the way across the road. Leaving a narrow strip of tarmac between them and the water. As I tried to squeeze past them, one of the adult swans took umbrage and went for me! Causing me to end up in the water!

Swans
These were fine the first time I went passed

I went out on a lovely ride with my good friends Dave and Helen. The first time I’ve seen them since last year! It was only a short ride of 20-miles around the Southdowns, but very enjoyable. On the way home, we stopped off in a park, and managed to get a beer! It almost felt like things were back to normal! After that, it was back to Dave and Helens for something to eat, al fresco, where Julie also joined us.

Other News

We’ve had some superb weather with a mini-heatwave! And while there have been complaints from other seaside resorts, about overcrowding, and people not keeping their distance. I can’t say I’ve seen it here, yes it’s been busy. But on the beach, people seemed to be keeping their distance. It made me keep my distance! I’d generally cycle along the seafront at least once a day, but with it being so busy, I’ve kept away!

Pre-fab unit
A good sign that things are opening up

With the hot weather, I had my first family BBQ of the year, except it wasn’t a BBQ! I just made a simple Greek salad, which we sat outside to eat. And I managed to get Indya to sit on my lap, for a short while!

At the beginning of the month, barbers, and hairdressers had been shut for two months! And my hair was driving me mad, I was looking like the wild man of Bognor Regis! Not any more, after buying some clippers! Although I probably need to cut it again now!

On a slightly depressing note! It’s June, halfway through the year, we’ve just had the longest day! And I’ve not been away on one single camping trip! Or away at all for that matter! But to be honest, with all the problems, we’ve all had these past few months, it doesn’t matter. I’m just glad that everybody I know is safe and well!

Lockdown Easing

Good news with lockdown being eased even more in the coming week! With pubs, restaurants, hotels and campsites all being allowed to open! Not sure I’ll be rushing away though! The campsites are going to be heaving, and you probably have to book in advance, something I’m not too good at! And will they even allow solo campers, I mean, why should they? When they can get a couple or a family in the same area! It’s just not going to be the same this year! I know of at least one campsite that’s not going to open, their shower/toilet blocks! You have to be self-sufficient and have your own facilities! And one of my favourite campgrounds, Hollands Wood, in the New Forest, isn’t even going to open up this year!

Boats
Fishing boats in Portsmouth

As for hotels, what are they going to be like? Will they have restaurants open, could you get in there even if they do! And apparently, they’re talking about bringing breakfast to your room! Maybe I’d just have to do the hotel camping thing, although hotels these days all have heat/smoke detectors! It’s all going to be a bit strange! And as much as I don’t like it, I do understand the reasons behind it all!

June 2020update
Hotel camping in 2011

With all this in mind, I’ve sort of decided that I won’t be going away this year! Or maybe not until the end of the year. But then who knows, I may change my mind! And as I said last month, now would be a good time to get my hip sorted!

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