Still learning …….

“Have you done anything interesting this weekend?”

My immediate answer was going to be, as always, “No” because I always assume that other people’s idea of ‘interesting’ is parties, holidays, family days etc, the sort of things I rarely do. 

But I checked myself, and said “Yes!”

Because I’ve had a great Easter 😄

On Good Friday I went on a ramble followed by lunch with a fantastic group of friends. The excuse was to raise money for London Marathon sponsorship but I think we just did it because we enjoyed it!


Then, for the next three days I was being a ‘missing person’ at the man trailing seminar. An opportunity to spend time with great people and gorgeous dogs!








The four day seminar was organised by Search Dogs Essex. They’d brought a trainer, Alis Dobler, and her husband Marco over from Switzerland, and the aim was for the handlers, and their dogs, to learn more about man trailing. 

During the time I was with them we trained in town, woods, fields and waste ground. 

Now, as my friend Beverley always said, every experience is a learning experience. So what did I learn?

I learned more about the difference between trailing and air scenting. I learned about the difficulties presented by different environments. I learned how a dog  will use different skills to solve a problem. 

But, more than that, I learned stuff about me!

I learned that if, as and when I reach the point where I can get my own dog I’m going to ask these guys advice about what to get and where from. I’m completely in awe of their knowledge, understanding and generosity of sharing information. I now know that I don’t know what I think I know …… if that makes any sense!

I know that my Multiple Sclerosis, whilst beaten back, has had an impact on my sense of balance. We’ve done a lot of work on that and it is a lot better but there are still some difficulties alt bough I’m never sure if they are real or in my head! 

There was a famous moment. A few years ago where I held on to a very small leaf to keep me safe while I climbed over a rickety stile.  I used the same method a couple of weeks ago to keep me upright while I was hiding in the dark. 

At one point when I was hiding I was standing, I closed my eyes which affects my balance.  I discovered that if I stood with a twig touching my head I could have my eyes closed without any problem. I just need something to tell me which way is up!

As you all know, once I’m in walking mode I can just keep going, but that’s on paths and roads. The woods present far more challenges, uneven ground, going through undergrowth and those bloody brambles! 

Yes, I managed to fall flat on my face again, but the landing was in soft mud and didn’t hurt at all. I tried to justify it by saying I wanted to make sure I’d left a large scent pool but I don’t think I was believed!

I’m most wary going down hill, but I just need to take a deep breath, give myself time to think it through and plan a sensible route. I can do it, I just need to believe I can do it. Being sent off with directions of where to go worked well as I could plan what to do, but travelling with others also works well because I challenge myself to keep up and not be the old bird at the back!

One thing I was struggling with was standing up when there wasn’t something convenient to lean on and push up from. 

Well, there’s no reason for that so I’m now working on it. Fortunately Ray us used to my peculiar ways and hardly bats an eyelid as I sit on the floor then stand up over and over again! 

I am the only person who can be responsible for me. And I’m going to do my utmost to make the most of everything, except the hot cross buns and the Easter eggs – they gave been a disaster!

So today I was back at the gym and tomorrow I’m back on the detox. Spring is in the air and I’m looking forward to it!


2 responses to “Still learning …….”

  1. Great post, it looks like a fun weekend was had by all, including the dogs. It’s great that you have ways of managing the things you find difficult. Thank goodness for small leaves & twigs. xxx

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