Friday, 19 September 2014

Vitamin D

Last year I read a very good book by the New Zealander IanWishart.  Now some of his works are at the very least controversial, but he says it how he finds it and I believe his research is very thorough. The book I read was 'Vitamin D Is this the Miracle Vitamin' .

After reading this book from front to back I was certainly convinced enough to give it a try and at the beginning of October started taking a Vitamin D supplementation.  Well I can say it was the first winter I have gotten through in over 20 years without feeling very down, depressed, lethargic - it was quite a revelation to me.  I stopped taking it at the end of February when I went to Australia and New Zealand figuring I would get enough natural vitamin D through sunlight while there and when I got back in April I had a blood test done and my levels were good.  Yes I should have had a test done before I started, but I didn't realise then that you could just send off for one...and a lot of doctors are reluctant to offer these tests for 'no reason'.  I know I had a hard time convincing the locum doctor in April to give me one.  Fortunately my actual doctor I discovered is very pro Vitamin D and when I saw him for the results he said to make sure I take supplementation from the end of September through to April each year (unless going to NZ) .  I only wish he had suggested taking it sooner instead of me instigating it!

Anyway the last few weeks I have been feeling significantly 'out of sorts' and the last few days rather tearful, so on Monday I took another test and sent it off.  I received the results today and I have to say I was rather surprised as despite it being only just the end of our summer, and that I also spent time in very sunny Arizona, my levels have dropped.  They still fall in the 'adequate' range, but the fact  that they have dropped indicates to me that my body isn't maintaining levels that it should.  It also possibly explains why I have been feeling 'down'.  So back to supplementation for me, and hopefully I will start to feel more on top of things again.  

Incidentally from what I have been able to gleam on good old Google searches, one of the organs you store vitamin D levels is your spleen.  I don't have one, so this could be why I am more sensitive to dips in my levels?

Oh and something else I discovered last year...and not to dwell on it too much, but if your magnesium levels are also low, when starting Vitamin D supplementation you may very well become um...well constipated as one of the side effects if you are also low in Magnesium when taking Vitamin D is this rather painful condition - easily remedied though by adding a Magnesium supplement.  I had to find this out through research myself though.

Of course I will have to add the disclaimer that I am not a medical practitioner of any kind, just interested in health and well being and like to find out as much as I can and make informed choices.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Holiday in Wales - Part Five: Harlech Castle

On the fifth day of our holiday we went to Harlech Castle.  The history behind the castle is fascinating.  It was build by King Edward 1, work starting on it in 1283.  The castle was originally right next to the sea, but now lies on a cliff face inland due to the changes in geology of the coast.  Amazing to think it has 'moved'  although of course it hasn't, it is the coast line that has.  King Edward 1 never actually lived this this castle though, instead the King's master mason and military engineer, James of St George and his wife Ambrosia lived in it.

Later on Owain Glyndwr held Harlech as his royal court for four years from 1404 before it was recaptured by the English in 1409 under the command of Harry of Monmouth, the future King Henry V and Victor of Agincourt.  Owain Glyndwr was the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales.  He instigated a very fierce and long running revolt against the English rule of Wales, but was unsuccessful.

As usual I have probably posted far too many pictures, but they are nice for me to go back to look at.

Our journey to Harlech was very pleasant and we enjoyed the meandering lanes and the toll bridge we had to go over.

A real human collecting the tolls...this was good to see, instead of a machine!

Quite a long bridge.

As we were crossing the toll bridge we saw cattle crossing the estuary/river

Wasn't expecting this, so was fun to see.

As we come into Harlech we stopped on the outskirts, as it was so pretty and peaceful.

The scenery very pretty.

A very long stretch of terraced houses.

Views of the railway bridge.

There was no one on the beach which was a surprise.

Into the town itself.

The wooden steps leading up to the gate way entrance.

Rather impressive!

There are impressive towers on each corner of the castle and two rings of walls.

We walked up to the top of the castle to wander round the ramparts and the view up there was spectacular.

There was a view to see wherever you looked.

The village

The Sailor looking very relaxed.

Very casual about everything.

It was so nice to have him home to be able to come on holiday with us.  

He has now rejoined his ship in Asia and will be away now until late February.

Looking down at the castle.

Looking down to the floor below

The boulders that could be seen from above.

The remains of old fireplaces.

You could see where each floor would have been by the fireplaces up the walls.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day out in a place steeped in history.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Holiday in Wales - Part Four

Following on from my post where we spent the morning at Devil's Bridge we then boarded the train for Aberystwyth.

The engine that pulled the train we travelled on.

The Vale of Rheidol Railway opened in 1902 and was used to carry lead ore, timber and passenger traffic.  The track is narrow gauge and allows the railway to follow the contours of the land and has many sharp curves an steep gradients.

Loading the coal

This is a wonderful way to see the stunning scenery of the Rheidol Valley.  On the way to Aberystwyth we weren't near the window so didn't get to take many photos, taking most of them on the way back so they are a bit further own on this post. 

It was an overcast day, but we still have a lovely time.  It is amazing to think that Aberystwyth was hit so badly by floods only late last year, as the town must have worked incredibly hard to get it all cleaned up and repaired as it really wasn't at all obvious.  

We had a little wander round and headed for the coast and the castle.

This was certainly a grand building and is Old College Aberystwyth University

What a place to go to University - right on the sea front!  Good fresh sea air to clear the brain

The pier.

We enjoyed walking round the ruins of Aberystwyth Castle and the sun even came out. 

Caught you!  

All too soon it seemed we had to make our way back to the train station.

We were pulled by a different steam engine on the way back to Devil's Bridge.

Some of the spectacular views of the valley on the way back.

It was so picturesque

Such a pretty valley.

Just look at that waterfall.

Back at Devil's Bridge the engine is uncoupled from the train and I take the opportunity to get a couple of shots of it.