Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A brief catch up in time (part 1)

More time has passed than I had thought. After the last post, 2016 can be summed up as 'lots of injuries and illnesses.'

I flew back to Sydney, with bits of my cart and stayed at a friends. Spent a lot of time waiting in doctors surgeries, taking tables, applying creams and ointments and hoping for a cure. I had a couple of skin infections from the tropics, but had three cases of bites (tick, leech, spider?)  that became swollen and infected also.  Besides losing some finger and toe nails, all turned out okay in the end.

I wasn't happy with the three wheeled pram, so had a period of building carts:

Two wheeler loaded for a trip to the op-shop.

One wheeler with practice weight

Another one wheeler.

There were many more. Some didn't get finished before it became clear the design would not work.  Most where one and two wheels.  A solitary four wheel idea never made it off paper.

Also was footwear experiments. Two of the wearable attempts:

The footwear kept me busy the longest.  Walking started out simple, but then became more complicated. What could be so hard - put shoes on and walk. Most of us have this sorted by year one.  For me, years of bicycle riding (without stretching), with a lot of pushing a heavy bicycle on cambered road edges, in sandals that were too narrow for my feet had left me with more than a few problems. 

Besides pain from my toes pressing together, my feet faced different directions - great for pushing loaded bike uphill, not so great for long distance walking. 

I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers.  Loved them at first. Then they fell out of favour because they don't dry out as well as sandals. Gradually, they returned, though I change to sandals in the rain or on wet paths.  Back to being very fond of them.  Love the way your toes can spread out. I credit them for solving the toe press problems.  Standing barefeet, all my toes have a gap between them. Some smaller than others, but coming from needing to put foam spacers between some toes to sleep at night, this is a huge improvement. 

I walk barefoot more and more. I'd like to be barefoot full time, but roadside edges are not friendly places for bare feet: glass, thorns and metal fragments. I'm not willing to risk lack of mobility from injury.  Stepping on a rusty tin can, hidden in the grass is not a bare foot feeling I want to experience.

The home made footwear making started as a search for an alternative to the Vibrams, that allowed my toes to spread out more. I found it hard to find sandals that don't cramp the toes.  Making your own footwear is interesting. There is more involved in it than it appears. The experimenting  continues - my current sandal is a combination of a commercial sandal that I cut apart with a different sole I glued on.