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Diary of a Diabetic Day 14 - the start of manual labour

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 17 April 2017

My blood sugar levels s have remained pretty good over the past few days. After my 9.3 on Friday I came in at 9.5 on Saturday and 9.9 on Sunday morning. I am running low on the little sticks you put in the machine so am on morning only tests pro tem. But Easter Sunday saw me hammering away at my laptop and drinking coffee. I had no car at that point and the cafe kept on giving me a little biscuit with my coffees. My day was almost all sedentary. It was a day that was just so typical of my poisonous lifestyle that saw blood sugar levels at 15.3 two weeks ago and me battling severe type 2 diabetes.

I was also goaded into doing a financial article which annoyed me massively. I am meant to be on a break and as i hammered it out I became crosser and crosser. Stress is not good for blood sugar.

I am kicking myself and have resolved to do far better. As such the manual labour has now started. Notwithstanding the fact that I have yet to put up any snake repellent at the Greek Hovel I ventured out to start pruning the trees. You make think of pruning as being what an elderly vicar played by Richard Briers does to his rose bushes in an Agatha Christie - a gentle exercise which burns so few calories that the wicked clergyman has plenty left in the tank to go off murdering his neighbours.

But olive tree pruning is a different kettle of fish. In one hand I have my small axe in the other my small saw. I must bend down to axe away any new growths at the base of the tree and then work my way up until I stand on tiptoe taking away growths or whole branches that are set to yield little or nothing in the way of olives. There is the constant nervous energy of watching out to make sure that you do not tread on any member of the wildlife diversity community or indeed that there is nothing lurking in the branches. It is all jolly tiring, something i forget after each year's pruning and remember afresh once again after about two trees of the next season.

Start gently says my doctor. I did just that. Nine trees are now "cleaned." My arm aches. And up in the Taygettos mountains above the hovel the storm clouds are gathering. That was my cue to head to the Kourounis taverna where lovely Eleni rustled up a magnificent Greek salad which , in a good diabetic way, I devoured without any bread. Having retrieved my rod from the hovel, an afternoon of fishing in the rain now beckons.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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