Mojo, Mojo, wherefore art thou?

Posted by Avril Jones on

Apologies to Shakespeare - and I know wherefore means why, not where.  So why do we lose our mojo?  I’d like to think that, for most of us, it’s part of a phased cycle, as described in this excellent newsletter by one of my favourite photographers, Tracy Calder:  https://mailchi.mp/cupoty/how-to-survive-creative-burnout?e=8378ed5c72.

As I sat down to try to write this, I realised it’s been more than a year since my last blog post!  And a similarly long time since I did anything with my Instagram photography feed.  The truth is, Lockdown 1 stole my photo mojo and I am only just beginning to get it back, aided by a proliferation of wildflowers in our neglected garden.  There has been a daily flood of new poppies, which lose their petals by the afternoon.  They appear alongside swathes of Honesty in two colours.  Their flowers are also gone now and we’re waiting for the seed heads, so popular in dried flower arrangements.  We had a patch of speedwell,  scatterings of woundwort, rosebay willow herb (loved by elephant’s head hawk moth caterpillars), extraordinarily tall buttercups, forget-me-nots, various daisies, countless dandelions and, of course, meter-high grass.  Sadly, the work we had done just before the pandemic took hold will have to be done all over again.

Meanwhile, in summer 2020, I was still trying to lose weight and had just started going to the gym and swimming again when the fitness centres all had to close.  What to do?  Couch to 5K was a maybe.  But then I received an email from a charity I support, Myeloma UK, about their annual London to Paris bike ride.  They couldn’t do the real thing due to COVID-19, so they were inviting people to do a virtual version of it.  316 miles in a month on any kind of bike or tricycle, indoors or outdoors.  I was not a cyclist - but I had a cheap, 20-year-old old mountain bike rusting away in the garage.  How hard could it be?   I was 63, unfit and overweight but inspired and motivated.

Introducing Wheely_Cranky ... which will be mostly about cycling, how and why I got started, got the bug, what I’ve learned and why I love it.  It’s for everyone who’s at all curious but especially women - and older women like me - who are tempted by cycling or just starting out.  I hope to remove the mystery, doubts and fears and make everyone want to get pedalling!


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