IT’S A GLORIOUS DAY in Cumbria, albeit still decidedly chilly. My always-waiting books and armchair are too frequently my default position after the little household jobs, haircut, shopping etc on Saturday mornings, up here, away from the busyness and routine of Vicarage life. That’s not good on two counts: the first, that this is a spectacularly beautiful part of the world and it’s daft to come here and not to see any of it. The second, that I woke up stiff as a board this morning and just know, in the way that one does just know such things sometimes, that it’s blooming-well time I shifted my idle self and took some exercise. And I did. And now I’m (slightly) less stiff. And my head has cleared. And I’ve decided that though we humans generally reckon sheep are silly, they’re not.
Sheep take plenty of exercise. They’re fairly focused. And they make time in their lives to sit around quite a bit and contemplate (apparently not too troubled by the fact that their young seem to leap and skip around the place like lambs). Now Simon the sheep is fairly focused, I think, and he does set aside time for contemplation and the all-important silence. It’s just this blessed exercise business. Baa! Health MOT coming up this week so it’s on my mind, because I know it’ll be on the doc’s. Can you hear me? Ooooh yes, doctor, a couple of hours a day, I’d say. Bit of weights, a few rounds of the track, the bike, swimming. Cumberland sausage? No. Only for a treat now and then. Yeah. Not bad at all. (Except I need to go to confession after this consultation!). If only I could remember that a bit of exercise can be positively enjoyable. If only my increasingly creaky old self didn’t look upon exercise as a form of penance!