The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “fitbit”

Fitbit Can Measure Post-Operative Recovery

Exercise measurement has become easier since the advent of Fitbit and similar tools. The hallowed amount of 10,000 steps a day is cited as an exercise aim.

Recovery from abdominal operations can be complex and sometimes difficult to measure quantitatively. The advice given is to gradually increase exercise and avoid anything strenuous . What would be more useful would be advice based on previous exercise levels.

Over the last year my average steps daily are around 15,000 with no day less than 10,000.

The day prior to my operation measured at 12,701. On the actual day of my hernia operation a mere 567 steps following general anaesthetic.

Day one was generally a slow day but 7172 steps was not too onerous. Slow steps if the truth is told. Day two was 12,172 steps and similar Day three.

Was the exercise excessive? I don’t think so. The steps were certainly made at a slower pace than normal so only give a rough estimate of exercise. Pain was not an issue for whatever reason.

So on balance by Day three I was approaching pre-operative exercise levels. Fitbit could be an option for monitoring in post-operative situations.

On Any Given Sunday . Walking Greyhounds

Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare (  also often known as Hersham hounds have their kennels unsurprisingly in Hersham. Sunday is a popular day to walk these gorgeous happy dogs, and as they are rescue hounds mostly retired from greyhound racing, they need socialising.

FullSizeRenderThe local walks are excellent for getting a little exercise and a one hour walk will give you in Fitbit terms around 5-6000 steps. you can expect a few interesting meetings between greyhounds and other breeds, some are not bothered whereas some see other breeds as the devil. The occasional cat strolls out and sits in the road just watching ( and irritating ) the hounds.


Turners Lane in Hersham





The weather cannot promise to be good . So wellington boots or the equivalent are useful items year round. Anyone can walk the greyhounds though do need to register, which can be done on the day, with suitable proof of identity and address, so best to do your homework and contact the trust before hand to determine exactly what is needed.

Burhill Kennels, Turners Lane, Hersham, Surrey. KT12 4AW. Tel: 01932 224 918

Opening Times are from 11am to 2pm each day


It is also worth mentioning as described on the website that they never will destroy a well greyhound.

The Sanctuary – a home for life
Not all greyhounds are so lucky so we do step in and help those less fortunate greyhounds who are at risk, as and when we are able. We operate a ‘no destruction’ policy, which means that no greyhound will be put to sleep except on health grounds when there is no other option. For those greyhounds with long term medical or behavioural issues we have a sanctuary – their home for as long as they need it.


The weather is not always idyllic


I would encourage anyone to try this rewarding way to spend an hour or so, on any day in fact.


Poundland. Why do I like this shop so much?

The obvious reason is that everything is cheap and everything is £1. Each time I am cascading down New Malden high street this is the shop I invariably venture into. There is another reason though and maybe an even more obvious one. They have everything I seem ever to need. Let me give one solid example of a diverse and eclectic list of items that cost me a whole £6 this morning. I also for some curious reason like the fact that it is 36 and not £5.99.

  1. Superglue. This was my main reason to go in today. I am having the opposite of joy with my fitbit. Which although only a year old is falling to pieces and the only logical way to preserve it for even a short while is to glue the pieces together. Not ideal and not a good selling point for Fitbit. I bought a pack of 8 small tubes of superglue that seemed indeed to have temporarily preserved my fitbit.
  2. Gloves. My usual gloves are large ski-ing type items and I wanted a small pair of gloves that I can literally put in my pocket. In Copenhagen yesterday with a temperature of minus 6 these would have been appreciated.
  3. 40 Tea Holder candles. I was not expecting to find these but there they were looking at me.
  4. Reece’s peanut butter chocolate cups. Two packets £1 each.
  5. Kit Kat pack of four large ones.

So potentially I might have considered going to four different shops to get these items.  I was also given a useful lesson in life by the pleasant  Indian lady who taught me nicely how to scan my own items. Scanning and me are not a good combination. IMG_1380

Anyone thinking that Poundland is not for them or too downmarket, please think again. An eclectic selection of useful items, ridiculously cheap and the shop was full of a complete mix of our little society.

What do we know of Poundland?

Poundland is a British variety store chain that sells most items in its stores for £1. Established in April 1990 by Dave Dodd and Stephen Smith, Poundland stock a variety of around 3,000 home and kitchen-ware, gifts, healthcare and other products, across 16 categories many of which are brand name and clearance products. Like many of its rivals, Poundland operates a constantly rotating product line with all products priced £1. Although price-point retailing was invented in the United States during the 1870s, the chain claims to have introduced this concept to Europe and is the largest single-price discount retailer in Europe.The retailer claims that their Croydon store is the busiest single-priced discount outlet in the world, generating more than £9 million in revenue per year with 30,000 customers a week. The company estimates it serves 2.75 million customers in an average week. Poundland reckon to be opening another 70 new stores in 2016.

Reflections on Hamburg

Spending a day in a city never allows a comprehensive opinion on what it is really like, but first impressions here are good and a potential place for a short weekend break. A couple of things are sticking immediately:

  1. There are many people clustered together like peas in a pod smoking outside of their workplaces. This was analogous to what I saw and was surprised by in Switzerland before xmas. Their expressions all mirrored extreme furtiveness and even guilt. IMG_1637
  2. Outside of hotels one cannot expect, nor should one really, people to speak English. This is actually quite refreshing as so many from the UK do expect it to be their right that everyone speaks their English, and that our abysmal failure to learn foreign languages should be acceptable. The taxi drivers for example cobble a few words together and was able to convey to me with a mixture of curious phrases and even more curious facial expressions that although potentially he could take his fare from credit cards, it was difficult and he really did not want to. He conveyed this nicely with more than a little humour.
  3. The city has many parallels with Amsterdam. Canals and cobblestone streets and inclement weather to start with.IMG_1621

    Hamburg Rain

    Hamburg Rain

The city has a nice relaxed feel to it, the restaurants were all full at lunchtime and maybe because they had limited menus of nice food at more than reasonable prices.  Rialto restaurant was my feeding trough and a nice place too. An excellent Wiener Schnitzel. A lot of building is going on and wherever one looks there are steepled buildings and impressive looking buildings, such as the Rathaus.

Rathaus Hamburg

Rathaus Hamburg

Rialto Restaurant Hamburg

Rialto Restaurant Hamburg

The downside to the city was the huge number of people begging . Many did not look German and some of the begging, although not aggressive as such was certainly beyond what one might want to see when passing by. A large number of Germans were also selling what I presumed to be the equivalent of the Big Issue, in a far more mellow way and indeed interacting nicely with people passing by. The pavements outside shops were littered with evidence of the homeless with their sleeping garments, duvets, sleeping bags and sometimes maybe their entire possessions on public display.

Hamburg Beggar

Hamburg Beggar

In every European capital and city one sees graffiti which in fact is often so artistic in nature that it is better to refer to it as Graffiti Art. Should this be encouraged? My impressions are that it rarely detracts from where it is painted and often adds something to a grey nondescript wall. Technically though I imagine it is illegal, but why not encourage it in the same way that legal busking works on UK railway stations.

hamburg Graffiti

Hamburg Graffiti

hamburg Graffiti

Hamburg Graffiti

There are a plethora of high quality shops, and although I cannot pretend to be an expert in these types of shops, they kind of stand out as shops that have no-one shopping in them and no price tags on the clothes. Prada was one such example where two young women dressed seemingly in doctor’s white coats, maybe they were doctors from the UK and taking part in the UK doctors strike, were avidly cleaning a clean window outside Prada and at times hoovering the pavement or sidewalk. All the time being watched by a woman dressed in black. The beggars and those sleeping rough did have their “beds” on the pavement outside these shops and to the credit of German society I saw no attempt to move these people on.

Prada Hamburg

Prada Hamburg

Prada Hamburg

Prada Hamburg

Walking around Hamburg is a pleasurable and easy thing and my Fitbit told me that I had easily done my 10,000 steps before early afternoon. The canals are pleasant on the eye, and not unlike Amsterdam in many regards. Travelling around seems simple, with the exception that the Underground runs overground looking like the Docklands Light Railway in the UK.


An Overground Underground

Everywhere one looked there were interesting things ranging from a sluice in the centre of the city, locks adorning railings and numerous coloured flags.

One monument that in fact was a memorial to lives lost through war, looked uncannily like the “monument” in 2001 A Space Odyssey. If anyone remembers that curious start to the film.

IMG_1588The Rathaus and the surrounding area were busy with tourists and a nice walking area, with shops nearby. Hamburg is a city well worth visiting and this view is shared by people far more eminent than myself, Karl Lagerfeld and John Lennon.


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