How to get the most out of your walks while we stay at home for Covid 19

IMG_20200408_183033With restrictions on going outdoors for the time being, a walk is a precious commodity. Dr William Bird gives his advice on how to get the most out of your outdoor time.

Currently, the government advice is that you can go for a walk or a run for one form of exercise – a walk, run or cycle – per day. This must be alone or with members of your household. Remember not to touch anything such as gates or fences and to wash your hands when you come back.

We’ve been advised not to use the car for non-essential travel, so start your walk from home. If you see anyone else on your walk, remember that you need to stay 2m away.

There are two different kinds of walks, so try to perhaps include both varieties when you head out. There’s a brisk walk where the goal is to get slightly out of breath and to raise the heart rate.  Then there’s a walk with a steadier pace where you’re trying to take a moment to reflect, enjoy nature and being outside; this kind of walk is good for your mental health.


  1. Have a look at a map to plot a route around your house. Even if you’re familiar with your area, there can be places that you just don’t tend to visit.
  2. Take the opportunity to notice how the removal of congestion, traffic and noise has really had a positive impact on nature.
  3. Listen for bird song while you’re walking.  The warmer weather means that you’ll soon start hearing the distinctive sounds of birds that are returning for the summer, such as the Willow Warbler and the Chiff Chaff.
  4. Look at the seasonal changes – pick a tree or a bush or two out on your walk and visit it every day to watch it change.
  5. Take photos of nature so that you can enjoy them at home
  6. Really look at the clouds now there are no airline tracks
  7. When we’re busy with work, we don’t take the time to notice the details around the places where we live. Take a moment to notice new landmarks around your home.

Dr Bird set up Intelligent Health to deliver the Beat the Street physical activity game with the aim of getting communities active together. With the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the company has turned its attention to encouraging everyone to do what they can to stay healthy and to increase your body’s immune system. For the next few weeks, #BeatTheStreet will become #BeatTheBug!

You’ll be able to sign up for newsletters packed with hints, tips and advice on how you and your family can stay fit, get active, reduce stress and have fun at home. There will be regular Beat the Bug advice and Q&A sessions with Dr Bird who works on the NHS frontline, and is a renowned expert in physical activity and an adviser to the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.

Dr Bird adds: “Walking is free and available to most people. During this Coronavirus outbreak, some of us are wondering what you can do to help. The answer is that the more we strengthen our immune systems, the better equipped you are to be able to fight it off without being admitted to hospital.

“We recommend going outside and walking or running for 19 minutes, and then exercising indoors for 11 minutes.  No matter what your ability or level of fitness, you can get more active, whether that’s remaining seated and lifting tins of baked beans, or going out for a walk. When you walk, you are activating your natural killer cells and these will help fight the virus.”

Driving Miss Daisy opens its doors in Didcot


A trusted transportation and companion service that offers driver assistance and a wide range of other help, has opened a new shopfront on Wantage Road in Didcot.

The South Oxfordshire franchise of Driving Miss Daisy was launched in December 2019 by husband-and-wife team Zororo Mubaya and Terence Kavuru to assist anyone of any age who needs a hand when their family isn’t available to help.

The couple have lived in Didcot since 2005 and wanted to provide a service giving peace of mind to those with older family members.  The company offers assistance of all kinds ranging from help with shopping trips to support at family events or even just spending a couple of hours chatting or playing board games with someone who might spend a lot of time alone.

The team is DBS-checked, first-aid trained and Dementia Friends, plus their drivers hold a Private Hire Licence so can help with day trips to perhaps a garden centre or to the seaside, or even airport runs for people with mobility issues.

The team can also help people get to appointments and will wait with the patient before bringing them home. They can even help collect children from school and take them to after school activities if working parents are unable to make it in time for school pick-up. A fully-licensed wheelchair accessible vehicle is available.

Terence and Zororo have two sons and a varied background ranging from sound engineering to health and social care recruitment.

Zororo added: “With our experience we wanted to take our transferable skills and experiences with working with supported living and social care clients who have a need for the transport and companionship that Driving Miss Daisy can offer.

“Driving Miss Daisy is often described as ‘family when family can’t be there’. When times are busy and people sometimes live a long way from their elderly relatives, we want to be able to provide peace of mind.

“We are really enjoying doing this so far – every day has been different, and we have the pleasure of helping and chatting to people from all walks of life.”

The Didcot branch opened for business on Christmas Day 2019 when Zororo took a stroke patient from Abingdon Community Hospital to her house for Christmas. She then spent four hours with family then was back in time for medication round. The business has been growing steadily since then and the couple felt the time was right to have a high street presence so people can come and in and get to know them.

Terence said: “It’s a people business and so we want our customers to know that they come in and have a chat and a cup of tea. Trust and reliability are completely integral to what we do, so we want people to know that we are here, and approachable. We’re so much more than just a blue van!”

Prices vary and quotes are available by contacting 07308 475489 or or

An official launch is set to take place later this year.

Driving Miss Daisy changes lives. We believe that helping people to remain mobile, encouraging social interaction and providing companionship is at the very heart of living life to the full. Driving Miss Daisy empowers the least mobile of society to live more independent lives through the provision of our services. At Driving Miss Daisy we are police-checked, trained first-aiders and dementia friends. We work with all ages from school children through to the most senior of citizens, so whatever your requirements please call us on 07308 475489 and give our services a try. We fulfil daily trips to the doctors, hospitals, school runs, dentists, and shops, and we love to take day trips further afield. So if you fancy a trip to the theatre with friends, or an afternoon tea at a garden centre or National Trust property, we are here for you!



Getting through April!

Happy 1st April – although this is a prank-free zone!

Someone asked me for tips on how to stay away from the fridge while you work from home. If I ever work this out, I will let you know, but it did make me realise that I have been self-isolating for a few years now! This is how we’ve been combining school-work with working from home and setting out our days:

  1. Exercise –  Joe Wicks is just the kind of person you need to be spending time with at the moment. Relentlessly cheerful and seemingly successful at getting adults and children alike to bunny hop around the living room, he is an inspiration and vital to ensuring people who can’t get outside, are still getting exercise.

Don’t forget that guidelines allow us to go outside once a day for a walk, run or cycle, so if you can, make the most of this.  Dr William Bird, founder of Intelligent Health which runs the Beat the Street game is asking people to walk for 30 minutes to strengthen their immune system and to #BeatTheBug.  Exercise is one crucial component of ensuring your immune system is ready to create ‘natural killer cells’ to fight against the virus.

If this is too much and you’re not meant to be leaving the house at present, remember that you can do chair exercises with leg and arm raises, or lift tins of baked beans. Anything is better than nothing.

We also love the Lotte Berk workouts where the brilliant teacher is raising money for Refuge. These exercises might not be suitable for children though!

2. Music-  we have a daily kitchen disco to lift the spirits, plus we’ve been to more gigs via live stream in the last week than in the whole of 2020 to date! With events, festivals and gigs cancelled all over the place (even Glastonbury!!), lots of musicians are struggling. Why not check out a local musician and put the ticket price in the virtual tip jar?  In the last couple of weeks, we’ve watched Ferocious Dog, Gaz Brookfield, Dubioza Kolektiv, Edgelarks, Holy Moly and the Crackers, 3 Daft Monkeys, and Nick Parker with a cup of tea in hand (although I’ve noticed there’s no queue for the bar!) and without people nattering in the row behind. There’s a timetable of live streamed gigs so you can see what’s coming up here

3. TV – there’s classic films on BBC 2 next week so what better time to introduce your kids (or yourself!) to classics like The Man in the White Suit or School for Scoundrels

4. Books – libraries are closed, so try your local independent bookshop where they might recommend specifically omething for you. Audible has some free books – we are currently listening to Kid Normal which we somehow missed when it came out in 2017.

We’re also introducing the small one to books we enjoyed as children; Malory Towers (there’s a new adaptation on BBC iPlayer which is not at all bad!) and the Jennings books for some nice old fashioned comfort. You can also check out authors like David Walliams reading his work.

5. Comedy – it’s so important to find things to laugh at and to step away from the weirdness of real life right now. We’re watching Le Navet Bete’s Dick Tracy show and also looking forward to a live tweet along on Friday evenings at 7pm  with Mischief Theatre, the mad cap team behind the Goes Wrong Show that was on BBC one earlier this year.  Looks like they’re going to start with the incredibly ambitious “90 degrees”. My son knows this word for word and frequently acts out his favourite line which is performed by a dog: “I’m executing a three-point turn”.

6. Netflix – recently added: Community (we’ll soon find out if it stayed joyously funny beyond series 3); Brooklyn 99 series 6 (prompting the question when is series 7 going to appear) and for kids, the Studio Ghibli collection  – our favourites, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away, plus added today: Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle; Pom Poko; Whisper of the Heart; From Up on Poppy Hill; The Wind Rises and When Marnie Was There.

7. Treats

Nostalgia is a great comfort at difficult times like this. We try to set aside time for chatting to friends and also important little treats like Buttermilk who are sending out a little taste of Cornwall. There’s all your favourite fudge flavours from Vanilla to Clotted Cream to Rum and Cappuccino.

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If you’re looking to cheer a friend up, Buttermilk also have two Easter egg ranges – a ‘traditional’ range including a Caramelised Hazelnut Easter egg  ; a Caramelised Sea Salt Easter egg and a Dark Cacao Nib Easter egg plus two ‘free from’ eggs; a delicious Choc Orange free from egg and a Choc Honeycomb Easter Egg

Have a lovely April!  Stay safe – in the words (almost) of Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar “let’s come together by staying apart”. Wash those hands and stay well. We will get through this  xx