January was so hectic and sleepless that I ended up pretty shattered. But February has slowed down a bit and I’m sleeping better, so I decided it was time to take more seriously the fact that I am part-time and voluntary. In our situation, where we are working from home and our house is part-office, part-meeting room, part-counselling space, part-classroom, part-free cafe for ‘people of the road’ etc, it is all too easy to end up working most of the time.

So! Eldest daughter tipped me off, and I went to a leisure centre where people of my advanced years can get free membership and I had an induction lesson in the gym. I was a bit apprehensive – although I do a modicum of exercise, on the whole my lifestyle is pretty sedentary so I wasn’t sure just how unfit I would be. However, things started looking up when I followed my instructor into the gym and found it bulging at the seams with hunky males pumping iron πŸ˜‰


Using the gym is also free during the day, so I went back there today with my blue card and put myself through my paces. My aim is greater strength and fitness and more flexibility in my joints – I have the beginnings of arthritis and want to keep mobile as long as possible!

Then it’s time to come home and switch on my Italian tapes. I last spoke Italian 40 years ago – which is a long time. But so far I am understanding most of it! The problem I have is that in the meantime, I have learned both Hausa and Romanian. Romanian is also a latinate language and I can see it’s going to be difficult for my little brain to disentangle the one from the other.

This is in preparation for our Italian holiday in May – very exciting prospect! It’s going to be an early celebration of our ruby wedding, which will fall in July. I was dead chuffed because I found this self-catering place through our trade papers – and because I booked early, and was also a reader of the said paper, I got 20% off!

Just trying not to be too excited … one never knows. |-|


35 thoughts on “GYM AND ITALIAN

  1. You cheeky monkey with all those lovely fellas in the gym. I’m sure you will feel the benefit soon.
    Aren’t you so clever speaking/learning those different languages. I can understand a lot of Spanish with going so much but when I stay with my sister I get lazy and leave her to deal with it as she is fluent but it is something I would really like to speak fluent myself. Good luck with it all and an early congratulations for your 40th πŸ™‚ x


    1. Thanks, Barmac! I don’t find languages easy and I never spoke Romanian very well … the trouble is, that it’s so like Italian but they are different, so I am making lots of mistakes!

      Hope you are feeling better and that things continue to look up for you and your Dad and Mum. Such a difficult time to make very hard decisions.


  2. Crikey! Sounds as if you have a very full schedule…. good idea to escape to the gym – that sounds fun… and will be a great way to get you feeling all groovy and limber… And good luck with the Italian. I can ask the price of an umbrella in fabulous Italian but that is about it… “Quanta costa questo ombrello rosso por favor?”… or something.

    What fun – I’ve been for a weekend in Rome buyt unfortunately the need to buy a red umbrella never arose and that is the extent of my Italian visiting but it was pretty amazing and certainly requires much more visiting in the future. How exciting! Certainly something to look forward to! πŸ™‚ Wow! πŸ™‚


    1. :)) I love the idea of asking for a red umbrella!! :)) When we went to Ecuador for Eldest Daughter’s (ill-fated) wedding, Hub learned the Spanish for ‘can I have a cold beer please’ – guess that is more useful, unless of course you’re caught in a tropical downpour!


      1. :)) “Donde esta el estacione de ferrocarrill?” or something is about the only Spanish I can remember = where is the railway station? :))

        Spanish for squid and ham are dangerously similar to the untrained novice, in Spain,….. 😳 that was VERY upsetting! :)) Thinking I was about to eat a sort of tough bread roll thing (boccadillo) with ham in, only to find round hoops of white rubbery stuff. Never had had squid before. :))


      2. Yeergghh – can’t face eating squid or octopus …

        In Romanian the verbs ‘to hate’ and ‘to wish’ are very alike, and Hub found himself one morning in an Orthodox church telling the people (at the invitation of the priest) that he hated them and hoped they would have a good festival … :))


      3. :)) Excellent! Daughter’s dad used to look at me smoulderingly and with fabulously flared nostrils and say ” I weeeeeesh you!” (I wish you) which I used to puzzle over. “You weeeesh I’d what??”…. :)) :))

        I think in Greek the word for Good morning and again.. squid.,… are similar so one runs the risk of politely smiling and saying “Good squid!” to strangers 😳 What is it with squid!! They have been sent to confuse people in foreign climes!


      4. Eldest daughter learned some Vietnamese when she was teaching there. It’s a language with lots of different tones and of course the meaning changes with the tones you use (like Hausa only more complicated), and she realised after a while that she was saying ‘hello, three’ to her next-door neighbour!


      5. Northern Nigeria – the Hausa (Muslim) people are a very big and influential tribe and their language is used by all the tribes as a trade language, so it made sense to learn it. Not that I can use it now … 😦


      6. Wow! I suggest then, that the Emerging Canoists Church speak Hausa (she said excitedly)? How about that then?

        Seriously though… how fascinating. What a life you and hub have had doing all these interesting things and in interesting places!

        When I grow up I hope to do interesting things.88|


      7. :)) Then we can shout loudly at them in English so that they understand!!! (not good missionary practice *blush* which is to learn somebody else’s language and customs before you start opening your mouth!)


      8. I think waving your hands a lot and opening your eyes VERY wide as well as enunciating very dramatically and shouting slowly helps a lot πŸ˜‰ Probably explains cannibals shoving missionaries in the cooking pot πŸ˜‰ :crazy:


  3. Tanti anni fa, quando ero un invito da una nozze in Parigi, trovavo la conoscenza della lingua Italiana, molto utile C’erano li, Degli Francesi, Inglesi, ed i Rumeni. They did not know I could follow much of what they were saying.

    The gym should be fun. I hope your induction was tailored around you rather than just the equipment.


    1. I think I understand that … Some people just have a natural affinity for the way languages work. They discover the basic building blocks then set to work mentally assigning what they hear, and out it comes. I once had a colleague who was speaking Romanian after a week! Sadly for me, I don’t have this facility, but I am braver at using language since I learned Romanian.

      At the gym I said I was wanting a better level of fitness, strength and flexibility, so the induction was tailored to that – although it was not the best induction ever. Fortunately I knew the questions to ask, so I extracted the information I wanted anyway!


      1. Practicing and functioning with a language together with learning the constructs, I think, is the very best way to acquire another language. That probably why you worked so well with Romanian. It’s when you get out of practice that the frustration arises.


  4. Good luck with all that gym-ing. My Hat (from albequerque, New Mexico) goes off to you.
    I have no such discipline: I exercise at home, then reward myself with a bottle of ale. Buono!


  5. Don’t let early aches and pains put you off going back to the gym. It’s tough, at first and you can find yourself trying to find reasons not to go …stick at it. Get in touch if you need someone to moan at about working out/training!



    1. Thank you – I will! My starter programme is very gentle, but it’s working different muscle groups, which is what I wanted. I’m pretty pathetic so far – I can only lift 5 kilos!! – but as time goes by and my strength improves then hopefully I can move up a stage.


      1. I assume they’ve not just had you on the weights, but the treadmill and/or exercise bike. You’re going to need to get that cardiovascular system awake. Everybody will be telling you them same thing (or should be) …start off gently. Yes, it will SEEM patheitc and your early progress might seem too slow. Don’t rush it, as the alternative is that you can do yourself a damage.

        In my first few gym session I wondered how I was going to get safely out of the BUILDING …somebody had replaced my knee joints rubber bands. Just standing up after working out on one of the weight machines made me ‘grey’ out.

        You should be in the swing of things before your holiday – but don’t expect to get into that bikini just yet. It will be tough going back to the gym AFTER your holiday, some of the strength you will have built up will be missing (but it won’t be like starting from scratch). Make a deal with yourself that you are definitely going back after your holiday …no matter how much you don’t want to. Don’t put it off …here there be dragons!

        What WILL surprise you is the vitality that starts coming your way …even hauling around just over sixteen stone I can go up stairs two at a time. You can’t hide behind your age with me, as I am not THAT much younger than you!


      2. I must say I am hugely impressed by the amount of weight you’re losing and your discipline at keeping going. Not many people can keep on with it with such determination, but if it leaves you feeling so much better that is a reward in itself.

        I’m on the exercise bike, the stepper, the rowing machine, the arm thingy, the thigh thingy, and the treadmill (walking briskly but not jogging). And stretching exercises. And so far, not too many aches and pains, which is quite encouraging – I can’t be as unfit as I feared!

        Thanks for your support. Hugs!


      3. The ‘discipline’ you refer to is not something I can claim all for myself. I have help with the determination that keeps me going. Some women read magazines whilst ‘messing about’ at training …I find other uses for those spaces where my mind would otherwise be unoccupied. God is everywhere and even makes it down the gym! This can make the satisfaction of a workout doubly rewarding


  6. :yes: That sounds much more like being part part-time AND Voluntary…..Life can now be enjoyed :)) I wish we had a gym near here which offers us free membership….:roll: I’d Love it…Great! Time was when I went regularly three times a week….Alas, not profitable for me anymore…financially, that is! NOW! Remember that ‘part-time/voluntary’ bit…;)xx


    1. thanks for your encouragement, Bushka – and I certainly INTEND to remember … πŸ˜‰ Hopefully if I am ‘out of the house’ at the gym then I am ‘unavailable’!


  7. Good luck with the gym gillyk Im sure you will enjoy it otherwise there is always line dancing which isnt too strenous and fun also πŸ˜‰ how exciting for you both you will love Italy Buon Vacanze as they say πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks, Lilian! I’ve tried line dancing but my feet get tangled up πŸ˜‰

      I went to Italy when I was a student and have always wanted to go back – so this will be it, all being well!


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