The most useful thing I've bought this year is my little heel lift. It was helpful to be able to adjust it by as little as a millimetre at a time to end up, once I'd got used to it, with 9 mm of lift in my right shoe. It's meant that I can't wear open-backed shoes but that's no problem. I've also found that the flat shoes I bought are too flat for me and that I'm best with a 1 - 2 inch heel, though I can wear higher once in a while without problems.
When I went to Italy at the end of April, I knew I'd be walking a lot and also travelling in a coach and by plane, with no chance to stretch my legs out, so I took a good supply of painkillers and took a dose every morning, which was enough to keep me quite happy. However, for the last few weeks I've been aware that I've started to regain a slightly rolling gait and my leg has hurt most of the time. Since I've had arthritis I've noticed other people with the distinctive walk - even when you can't quite call it a limp you look like a hoary old salt on shore leave. Certainly, it's noticeable - I'm often asked if I've hurt my leg, even when I don't think I'm walking funny at all.
This morning, I remembered where I put the pack with the other layers of the lift and I've added another. It's helped. Slightly depressing to accept that I've lost more from my hip though. Once I get to more than half an inch lost, I'll add an extra rubber heel to each right shoe, but after that I suppose I'll have to consider built-up shoes.
The other depressing thing is that I'm doing nothing to cause it. I'm not overweight - though nor am I thin, which maybe is the only next place to aim - I walk as much as is normal for a reasonably active person, and cycle for preference, I don't do things that put unnecessary strain on my hip and, as the doctor recommended, I cycle quite a lot. Therefore, it's not what I'm doing or not doing that is causing it to deteriorate, but just the natural effect of arthritis. It's quite interesting really.
Anyway, in other news ... yesterday, the Sage spotted a kestrel diving towards the chicken run, with the bantams making a commotion. He hurried over, but fortunately the baby phantam had managed to take cover. Now, she and her mother are in a coop on the lawn. Mother is still hopefully sitting on some eggs but, being half pheasant, the baby is quite happy running around a lot of the time and doesn't mind not being under mum's wing.
Otherwise - the hot weather is making me extremely cheerful. I love it. Different matter if you have to get to work and slog in an office all day, especially in a city, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the rarity of summer weather.