How Yesterday’s Predictions Fared and Predictions For Today

How yesterday’s predictions fared, some predicitons for today’s Royal London Cup action and a couple of other features.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday due to timing issues I posted predictions about the outcomes of that days Royal London Cup matches before they took place. This post shows how those predictions panned out and provides predictions for today’s two matches, with one at the half-way stage and the other heavily weather affected. There are also a few other things included.

HOW YESTERDAY’S PREDICTIONS FARED

Here match by match is what happened yesterday:

  • Somerset v SussexSomerset 282-8 from 50 overs, Sussex 62-4 from 16.3 overs, Somerset win by 69 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method
    The Duckworth-Lewis method, now administered by a man named Stern, its two progenitors having retired, is the best method for resolving rain spoiled fixtures yet devised – a predecessor led to England and South Africa retaking the field when the calculation reduced South Africa’s task to 22 off one ball! There is no doubt that having lost four early wickets Sussex were heading for defeat even had the rain not intervened. Coimpetition rules require each side to have batted for at least 10 overs for the game to be considered completed. For Somerset Hildreth scored 81, Azhar Ali had his first decent performance as overseas player with 68 and Lewis Gregory hit 50 off 28 balls near the end. Mir Hamza took three wickets for Sussex and Chris Jordan two. Sussex had lost the top four in their order when the rain came, with the wickets going to Overton, Davey, Groenewald and Gregory. A correct prediction for me.
  • Leicestershire v DerbyshireLeicestershire 312-8 (50 overs), Derbyshire 266-3 off 39 overs, Derbyshire won by seven wickets off the last possible ball.
    Again a bit of rain meant that the Duckowrth-Lewis formula came into play. In the end Derbyshire needed eight of the final over and nearly made a pig’s ear of it. Ackerman made 119 for Leicestershire, while the wickets were widely shared. Billy Godleman made 106 for Derbyshire, guiding them almost to victory, Du Plooy was 73 not out and Madsen made 60. This was an incorrect prediction.
  • Lancashire v Northamptonshire Northamptonshire 269 all out from 50 overs, Lanashire 164-2 from 28.4 overs, Lancashire won by eight wickets under the Duckworth/Lewis method.
    Lancashire were motoring ahead of the required rate when the rain intervened, and quite rightly the calculation showed as much, earning them the win and me a second correct prediction out of three. Jason Holder made 72 for Northamptonshire, Rob Keogh 66 and Vasconcelos 50, while all else in this innings was overshadowed by the bowling of Saqib Mohamed who took 6-37. For Lancashire Haseeb Hameed made 65 and Keaton Jennings 63.
  • Worcestershire v DurhamDurham 114-4 from 27.2 overs, Worcestershire 152-6 from 22.2 overs, Worcestershire won four wickets with 10 balls to spare under the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
    The fact that Worcestershire knew from the start that their innings would be truncated and Durham did not explains why they were required to chase more than Durham had scored, and the fact that Durham had lost four wickets explains why the differential was not even greater. Alex Lees made 52 not out for Durham, while no Worcestershire bowler took more than one wicket. Four Worcestershire players scored over 25, although the top score was a mere 33 by Hamish Rutherford. For Durham Carse, Salisbury and Raine each took two wickets. I called this one correctly.

Thus I was right with three predictions and wrong with one, making a fifth Royal London Cup match day out of five on which I have got more right than wrong, and taking my overall record to 19 right out of 27, a strike rate of 70.03% (70.027…%, rounds up to 70.03).

TODAY’S PREDICTIONS

There are only two matches taking place:

  • Middlesex v SurreyMiddlesex 277 all out from 50 overs
    The last two wickets boosted the Middlesex total, with Toby Roland-Jones finishing with 45, second top score to Ross Taylor’s 64. The bowling star was veteran off-spinner Gareth Batty with 4-29. Middlesex’s total is respectable but I am predicting that Surrey will chase them down.
  • Glamorgan v Kent Glamorgan 68-2 from 15 overs, raining at present.
    If the rain relents sufficiently to allow a result this match will go a long way to settling who gets the wooden spoon from the South Group, as both these teams currently have 100% losing records. Looking at Glamorgan’s current score my reckoning is that Kent are currently second favourites to the weather to emerge with the spoils. Wicketkeeper Chris Cooke is 29 not out and Labuschagne made 27, while Klaasen and Podmore each have a wicket.

A SCOPE EVENT

Scope had a get together at the West Norfolk Deaf Centre on Railway Road, and I was one of three members of the NAS West Norfolk Committee in attendance. It was a thoroughly enjoyable session, and we raised the issue of Scope helping us to get music sessions running again. With the help of Scope it will be a possibility. We also took part in some of the activities that were made available for us on the day. I have a few photographs to share…

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Three pictures from around the room.

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Emma Palmer’s work

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I did not find out who had created this, but it is good quality.

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A ‘Sudbury Town’ type building with a wind turbine to meet ir’s power needs.

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ANNUAL HEALTH CHECKS FOR AUTISTIC PEOPLE

This is an idea being pushed by NAS at a national level. As someone who is autistic and who has had a very difficult time recently due a health issue not being picked up until far too late I want to be involved with this, and to turn my experience to good use. There is information in earlier blog posts that NAS are welcome to use, and I am considering further options for working with NAS on this.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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Clean Sweep of Predictions Yesterday and Predictions For Today

The outcome of yesterday’s predcitions (100% success!) and some predictions for today because I will be out at my usual time for making them.

INTRODUCTION

Because of the fact that I am seeing my team at Addenbrookes later today and will not be back until well into the second innings of today’s Royal London Cup fixtures this is a combined feedback and predictions post – I chose the bold option of predicting based solely on form in the competition so far rather than the cautious one of not predicting at all.

YESTERDAY’S PREDICTIONS – A TALE OF SUCCESS

Surrey v EssexSurrey 278-8 from 50 overs, Essex 213 all out from 42.5 overs, Surrey won by 65 runs
When Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara were enjoying a good stand it looked like Essex may chase these down, but they fell in very quick succession, followed also by wicketkeeper Robbie White. Ryan Ten Doeschate, a fine player, but with his 39th birthday approaching now no longer quite the force he was did his best to rally the lower order, but it was not enough. Morne Morkel took 4-23 for Surrey and Liam Plunkett 4-50. Will Jacks was not able to emulate Lawrence by bowling his full allocation – he finished with 1-39 from six overs.

Hampshire v Middlesex Hampshire 301-9 from 50 overs, Middlesex 182 all out from 35.4 overs, Hampshire won by 119 runs.
Hampshire had a big finish to their innings, which induced me to call this one in their favour. However, I was not expecting quite such a pathetic batting effort from Middlesex. No Middlesex batter made a significant contribution, with 41 from Eoin Morgan their top score. South African Aidan Markram followed his fine batting with 3-39, and renegade South African Kyle Abbott spearheaded the bowling with 3-36.

Gloucestershire v Kent Kent 282-8 from 50 overs, Gloucestershire 283-4 from 46.5 overs, Gloucestershire won by six wickets with 3.1 overs to spare.
I did not think that Kent had the bowling to defend a so-so total and I was proven right. Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick led the way and deservedly completed a century at the moment of victory, finishing 100 not out. James Bracey made 67. None of the Kent bowlers produced figures that merit quoting here.

Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire 301-9 from 50 overs, Warwickshire 183 all out from 37.5 overs. Nottinghamshire won by 118 runs.
Another very one-sided match, with Warwickshire failing miserably to respond to Nottinghamshire’s fine batting effort. Among the wreckage 19 year-old Liam Banks scored 57 and Alex Thomson managed 55, but they only delayed the inevitable, though Banks at least is a hope for the future. Opening bowlers Luke Fletcher and Matthew Carter (a 22 year old off-spinner – Notts did something different with the new ball) each took three wickets, and James Pattinson and Samit Patel weighed in with two each.

Four correct predicitions out of four, putting on me on 16 correct out of 23 overall – a strike rate at the moment of 69.57% (69.565 to three dp, and that third decimal being a five or higher it gets rounded up when giving the figure to two dp).

PREDICTIONS FOR TODAY

Sussex v Somerset – I reckon that Somerset will draw strength from having hung on against Glamorgan when the Welsh county nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Their bowling looks especially impressive, and I back them to win this one, though Sussex will probably push them close.

Leicestershire v Derbyshire – Leicestershire have been good so far, Derbyshire not so good, and Leicestershire have home advantage. Thus I call this one as win for Leicestershire, and expect them to have something to spare over their opponents.

Lancashire v Northamptonshire  – Both teams have fared reasonably well so far. Lancashire have home advantage, and have the additional boost of their dramatic roses match triumph. Thus I call this one in Lancashire’s favour.

Worcestershire v Durham – With home advantage I expect Worcestershire to win this one (especially if they manage to find a way of dismissing Bancroft) although they were well beaten last time out.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My regular sign off…

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The only publicity I have received about the upcoming local elections (two images) – given the paucity of choice I was going to vote for these candidates anyway.

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A house sparrow.

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A muntjac yesterday evening.

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even feral creatures use recognized modes of egress!

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The Royal London Cup Half Way Predictions IV

Predictions at the half way stage of todays Royal London Cup matches, some links and plenty of my photographs.

INTRODUCTION

There are four matches taking place in the Royal London Cup today, which means that even if all of my predictions turn out incorrect I will still have more right than wrong at the end of it, as I am currently on 12 out of 19.

THE ROYAL LONDON CUP TODAY

This is what is happening so far…

  • Surrey v Essex Surrey 278-8 50 overs
    At 220-3 in the 42nd over Surrey would have been entertaining hopes of getting close to 300. At 241-8 Essex would have been hoping to restrict Surrey to no more than 260. In the end the difference was almost exactly split, thanks to some late hitting from Jason Roy who had suffered a back spasm earlier in the day. Ben Foakes top scored for Surrey with 82. Sam Cook took 3-37 from eight overs, Dan Lawrence bowled his full allocation of 10 and took 2-52 – Surrey will be hoping for something similar from their nearest equjivalent, Will Jacks. I predict that Surrey will defend this total.
  • Hampshire v MiddlesexHampshire 301-9 from 50 overs
    Until the last over Middlesex were faring quite well in this one, buit topping 300 is big psychological boost for Hampshire, albeit that 300 is not the mountainous total it once was in this form of the game. A South African, Aidan Markram, top scored with 88 and a renegade South African, Rilee Rossouw made 64. Tom Helm, right-arm medium fast took five wickets but was made to pay for them (71 in nine overs). I expect Hampshire, with their bowling spearheaded by another renegade South African, Kyle Abbott, to defend this one.
  • Gloucestershire v Kent Kent 282-8 from 50 overs
    The early stages of the Kent innings saw Zak Crawley make 85 and Joe Denly 56. At the end Harare born wicketkeeper Adam Rouse hit 45 not out off 28 balls to boost the total. Benny Howell took 2-39 from his 10 overs, 28 year old right-arm fast medium bowler David Payne had 2-45 and slow left-armer Tom Smith had 2-47 from seven overs. I expect Gloucestershire to chase these down – Kent look to me like they are a trifle short of bowling options (they will almost certainly need Denly to bowl his full ten overs).
  • Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire 301-9 from 50 overs
    A decent total for Nottinghamshire, Ben Slater making exactly 100, skipper Mullaney 40 and Luke Fletcher and James Pattinson 33 and 32 at the end. Jeetan Patel collected 5-45, George Panayi, a 21 year old right arm fast medium bowler took 2-44. Henry Brookes had an off day today, finishing with 1-78 fron nine overs. I expect Nottinghamshire to defend this total. 

Thus my predictions, with varying degrees of confidence, are: Surrey, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire.

PHYSIO SESSION AT TAPPING HOUSE

Today I attended my second full physio session at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House. The exercises I did today as part of my recovery from cancer include a stair exercise, an arm exercise involving weights, three minutes on the treadmill, a set of arm exercises involving a punching action and three minutes on the bicycle simulator (I was particularly pleased with this one, since I managed to average 26kph, or approx 16mph over the three minutes). While there I also augmented my photo collection:

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LINKS AND PICTURES

First three related pieces. Richard Murphy has added two more to his Taxes To Save the Environment (Taste):

  1. A Carbon Usage Tax
  2. A Land Value Tax With A Woodland Twist

There is also a piece on devonlive, which I was found by way of twitter headlined “Shock and anger as entire Devon woodland is chopped down“. The piece makes clear that not only had planning permission for this atrocity not been granted, the arrogant and unscrupulous developer had not even bothered to seek it. My own opinion is this developer should be punished by both a hefty fine upfront and by being made to replant the woodland at his own expense. My hope would be the combined expense of these two would put him in serious financial difficulties to teach him a lesson.

This is the woodland area at the end of Seymour Drive

Now for my usual sign off…

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I think the tiny bird featured in this picture and the next is a house sparrow – but I have not yet got a picture of it from a really good angle so I cannot be absolutely certain.

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All-Time Squads – England

I select an England squad from players I have witnessed and a true all-time England squad.

INTRODUCTION

This is the start of a new series which will appear on this blog periodically in between posts about other things. I will pick two squads in each of these posts – one restricted to players whose performances I have witnessed live and one true all-time squad, using my considerable knowledge of cricket history. I will also be including a few other things after the main body of the post. We will being the main part of the post with…

ENGLAND SQUAD FROM PLAYERS I HAVE WITNESSED LIVE

To begin with we need an opening pair. I refuse to consider those who went on the two English rebel tours to South Africa. The serious contenders left are:

  • Mike Atherton – 7,.728 runs at 37.69 from 115 test matches. A fine record, though that average was reduced by his encounters with Glenn McGrath who seriously had the wood on him. 
  • Alec Stewart – 8,463 test runs at 39.54 from 133 test matches. These already impressive figures conceal the fact that Stewart the specialist batter (the role in which I would be using him) averaged 47, while Stewart the keeper averaged 34. 
  • Marcus Trescothick – 76 test matches produced 5,825 runs at 43.79. An attack-minded left hander, Trescothick hit the ground running at Test level with 66 against the West Indies on debut, and until mental health issues caused his premature retirement from international cricket he went from strength to strength.
  • Andrew Strauss – 100 test matches, 7,037 runs at 40.91. An consistent opener who did even better as captain than he did in the ranks. 
  • Alastair Cook England’s all time leading test run scorer, with 12,472 at 45.35, he started his test career with a fifty and a century against India and ended it 12 years later with a fifty and a century against India. 

Of these five I can accommodate three in my squad (an opening pair and a reserve opener), and my choice, with due respect to Messrs Atherton and Trescothick is to go for Alastair Cook and Alec Stewart (mainly defensive left hander and more attacking right hander) as my first choice opening pair and Strauss as the reserve opener. It is a close call between Strauss and Trescothick, but Strauss’ captaincy experience gives him an edge.

My designated number three bat and captain is Michael Vaughan. Number three has traditonally been a problem position for England, but Vaughan was magnificent there – his only rival in my lifetime is Jonathan Trott, but since I want Vaughan as captain he gets the nod. When it comes to picking three middle-order batters there is an embarrassment of riches to choose from. There are two left-handers, David Gower and Graham Thorpe and a phalanx of right-handers including Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Joe Root and Paul Collingwood who all did fine things at test level. I can only select three, two to be in the first XI and one as cover, and my choices are Joe Root, David Gower and Kevin Pietersen. 

With all due respect to Andrew Flintoff and Ben Stokes who have both had great achievements at the highest level there is only one candidate for the allrounders role in my view and that is Ian Botham

There are four potential candidates for the wicketkeepers slot, of whom I need to select two since I do not intend using Stewart in that role. My four candidates are:

  • Jack Russell – a magnificent keeper, but his test batting average of 27.10 was a little on the low side.
  • Matt Prior – there was never a question about his batting skills, but his keeping took a while to develop, though he became very good indeed.
  • Jonny Bairstow – A fine attacking batter and a good keeper, but rarely able to combine the two at test level
  • Ben Foakes – A magnificent keeper and averaging over 40 in his brief test career so far.

It will be considered controversial in some circles to give the nod to someone still in the early stages of their career, but my choices are Ben Foakes as first choice keeper and Matt Prior as reserve. 

I have now selected a total of ten players, and a regulation squad would be 16, so I have six places available to fill the squad. For quick bowlers I go for James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Simon Jones and Steve Harmison. Phil Tufnell was too inconsistent and Ashley Giles not really good enough, so my choices for the spinners slots are Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

Thus my squad of sixteen is:

Alec Stewart
Alastair Cook
Andrew Strauss (reserve opener)
*Michael Vaughan
David Gower
Kevin Pietersen
Joe Root
Ian Botham
+Ben Foakes
+Matt Prior
James Anderson
Stuart Broad
Steve Harmison
Simon Jones
Graeme Swann
Monty Panesar

The likely first XI, assuming a pitch that does not favour any particular type of bowling would be: Stewart, Cook, *Vaughan, Root, Gower, +Foakes, Botham, Swann, Broad, Anderson and Harmison, with Kevin Pietersen just missing the final cut in favour of Root (Gower’s lefthandedness works to his advantage).

THE ALL TIME SQUAD

For this one I start with the greatest of all opening pairs, Jack Hobbs and Herbert SutcliffeIn addition to being one half of the greatest of all opening pairs Herbert Sutcliffe’s averages suggest, as does everything ever written about him, a big match temperament par excellence – 52.02 in first class cricket, 60.73 in all test cricket and in the cauldron of The Ashes, 66.85. As reserve opener I select W G Grace, reckoning that his test batting average (32.29) was reduced both by the pitches he played on and the fact that he was already 32 when he played his first test match in 1880, and his career at that level lasted until within a couple of months of his 51st birthday. My remaining choices for batting slots are Joe Root (captain), Denis Compton, Walter Hammond and Frank Woolley (the latter two more than handy bowlers as well as great fielders, and Woolley a left-hander). For the wicketkeepers I opt for Les Ames as first choice and Ben Foakes as reserve. Ian Botham retains his place as designated all-rounder. For the bowlers I retain Anderson, and augment his presence with Fred Trueman, Syd Barnes (189 wickets at 16.43 from just 27 matches) and George Lohmann (112 wickets in 18 test matches at an eye-popping 10.75). My two players selected as spinners are Hedley Verity (slow-left arm) and Jim Laker (off-spin).

Thus my squad list reads:

Jack Hobbs
Herbert Sutcliffe
W G Grace (reserve opener)
Denis Compton
*Joe Root
Walter Hammond
Frank Woolley
+Les Ames
+Ben Foakes
Ian Botham
Fred Trueman
Syd Barnes
George Lohmann
James Anderson
Jim Laker
Hedley Verity

The first XI in batting order, assuming the pitch does not justify either two specialist spinners or an all-seam attack is: Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Compton, *Root, Woolley, +Ames, Botham, Lohmann, Laker, Trueman and Barnes. I select Laker ahead of Verity as the lone specialist spinner because Woolley was a good enough slow-left armer to have taken 10 wickets in a test match and Compton could bowl slow left-arm wrist spin.

A BIT OF NEWS

Today as part of my continuing recovery from cancer I attended a physio session at Tapping House, and it went very well. I handled all four of the exercises I did today reasonably well, and my breathing behaved itself. It is a nice small group, and the setting is good.

PICTURES

My usual sign off…

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The first 11 pictures here are from Tapping House.

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It took three attempts…
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to get a decent picture…
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…of this bird which I saw crossing the carpark at Tapping House.

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Tapping House’s youngest visitors!
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Back home.

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A Brief Visit to Addenbrookes

An account of my absence over this weekend.

INTRODUCTION

This is going to be a brief post to put people in the picture about my current situation.

THE EVENTS OF THE WEEKEND

After a good Friday I woke up on Saturday morning feeling dreadful. The trouble was a headache. At about 7:30 I took two paracetamol, hoping that they would ease it and I would be able to function something approaching properly. By 9AM it was clear that such would not be the case and I phoned my aunt to request her company. She called 111, and the paramedics who came decided that a visit to hospital was warranted (I have secondary tumours in the brain, so a headache cannot be ignored). After speaking to my parents my aunt decided that rather than have the paramedics take me to QEH (who have blotted their copybooks more than once since I become ill) she would drive me to Addenbrooke’s, who were informed that I was on the way.

At Addenbrookes after a check of my vital signs revealed nothing to worry about I was taken for a CT Scan and then temporarily admitted to the very familiar surroundings of Ward D9. The scan did not reveal anything that it shouldn’t, and by Sunday morning the headache had gone and I was feeling a lot better. By that stage the only question was how long it would take to attend to necessary bits and pieces before I could be discharged, and by 2PM I was in my parents car and we were heading to King’s Lynn.

Normal blogging service should be resumed from tomorrow.

I have no pictures of my own to share, but here is a graphic posted on twitter by Anne Memmott for Autism Acceptance/Appreciation Month:

Autism Acceptance

 

Health Update

A brief account of what happened in my appointment at Addenbrookes today.

INTRODUCTION

This will be a brief post related to today’s visit to see my team at Addenbrookes hospital. There will be a more substantial post coming later about a different subject.

GOOD NEWS IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES

Regular readers of this blog will be well aware that healthwise I am in a position analogous to the person who asked an Irishman for directions and was told “Oi wouldn’t have started from here”. In view of that the fact that the preliminary finding from my bronchoscopy is that there has been some bleeding in the lung qualifies as good news, since it is unquestionably better than the alternatives. Also, the fact the Dr Mazhar decided that he does not to see me again for four weeks can only be regarded as positive news. The operation to remove the testicle that was the origin of all the trouble is probably still a couple of months away.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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Just three pics with this post – I am saving the rest for my next post.

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Physio Assessment at Tapping House

An account of my first visit to Tapping House Hospice and the physio assessment that took place there.

INTRODUCTION

At 11AM today, exactly as planned, a vehicle arrived to collect me and take me to Tapping House Hospice for a an introduction to their physio arrangements. The physio came in person along with the driver. In the rest of this post I will describe what happened.

THE JOURNEY THERE

Major housing developments have opened up a lot of North Lynn in recent years, and we were able to head for the main road to Hillington, the village in which the hospice is situated, by way of Lynn Sport and the industrial area of North Lynn. The journey pased without incident, and the physio then conducted me to the room wherein the sessions will take place when I can start them (next week’s sessions are already full, but it is just possible that I will be able to attend sessions from the week after next). 

THE ASSESSMENT

The assessment consisted of a number of parts:

  • Get up from a chair and sit back down five times in a row.
  • Stand in front of the chair with my eyes closed and my feet together for 90 seconds – I felt that I was shaking like a leaf when I did this but apparently the reality was less dramatic than what I felt.
  • Walk to the door leading into the ‘snug’ 
  • Walk a short distance, turn around and walk back (the physio neasured the appropriate distance).
  • Put one foot on a step and bring it back down again five times
  • Then it was time to sample the equipment – two minutes on the treadmill at its lowest speed, three minutes on a bicycle simulation (it offers much more physical support than a real bike, but you pedal it as if on a bike – my average speed over the three minutes was 14.1kph – just a tick over 8.5mph – a baseline figure against which future attempts can be measured) and a brief introduction the all-over workout machine, which I did not enjoy since my balance has never been the best, and I did not feel secure at any stage.

I think I have missed something as there were supposed to be seven stages, but this is what I remember of the assessment.

OTHER SUGGESTIONS

Louise made some sensible suggestions about outside walking, involving making use of the area immediately outside my bungalow, which I shall put into practice from tomorrow (weather permitting) – I did actually manage a visit to the very local shop yesterday, but it was tiring. She also helped me with some advice on regulating the breathing, which I shall endeavour to make full use of.

HOMEWARD BOUND

The journey home passed uneventfully, and although we had taken the precaution of bringing the wheelchair along for the ride it proved to be unnecessary, and we probably won’t bother with it next time I go to Tapping House. I enjoyed my first visit to the hospice, and look forward with more enthusiasm than apprehension to getting involved in group physio sessions once there is a space for me.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some photographs taken today:

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Pot outside the main entrance (2 pics)

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A nice map of Norfolk displayed above the reception desk.

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The gym equipment.

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