I’m sure you have all experienced the thrill of meeting someone new, someone who might just become a kindred spirit. Could they turn into your Best Friend Forever? Or will they become, over time, just mere acquaintances,
pleasant enough but not someone with whom you would share your innermost thoughts and fears?
Have you met them at the school gate, where you were both waiting
for your off-spring to bound out of school, casting their coats, school bags and sports kit into your reluctant arms? Or did you meet them at work, maybe over the coffee machine or the printer, finding yourselves bound together by sheer frustration at the
fact that, however patient you may be with people, technology brings out the very worst in you? Or, perhaps, like me, you met them under the Christmas tree on Christmas Day...
Meet my new friend, Fergie the Fitbit. As yet I can’t make up my mind if we are kindred spirits or not. He came into my life, courtesy of My Boy and the Darling Daughter in Law, a most thoughtful Christmas present clearly aimed at encouraging
me to get, well, fitter than I am at the moment. Being, like so many people, Home Alone at Christmas (albeit with much zooming in by family members throughout the day) there was nobody to help me with actually making contact with my new friend. Where was grandson
Jack, my go-to person for All Things Technological, when I needed him? Nevertheless I managed to establish basic communications between Fergie and me. Yes, I decided to name him Fergie after a renowned footballing coach. Mr B would doubtless prefer me to name
him Jose or Pocchetino but neither of these would meet the requirements of alliteration.
I used to have a kind of poor man’s (or woman’s) Fitbit
which I bought for £19 in a sale at the chemists a couple of years ago. It was called a “Misfit” which seemed perfect for Yours Truly. It didn’t have all the functionality of Fergie and our friendship ran out of steam after a couple
of years. Now I have Fergie in my life and it is possible that my world is about to change. Or not, as the case may be.
Fergie reckons I need to walk 10,000 steps
a day. He doesn’t, however, hold it against me when I fail on a daily basis; instead, like any good friend, he provides me with endless praise when I do achieve something positive. On my first day walking out with him, for example, he awarded me a Happy
Hill badge for climbing up the stairs to visit the loo on ten separate occasions. I am presuming he didn’t realise the purpose of my Happy Hill-climbing...
I also earned a Boat Shoe for managing 5,000 steps, while yesterday (my best day to date), I won a Sneakers Badge for stepping up my game (Fergie’s words, not mine) and walking 10,000 steps. How many steps do I need to walk, I wonder, to
earn a pair of cowboy boots?
I sang Fergie’s praises to my Little Sister when she telephoned me, remarking particularly on the fact that when
arriving at the bus stop with some time to spare I had taken to walking to the next bus stop. The next day Fergie persuaded me to walk to the next stop - only for the Pulse bus to whizz past me mid-bus stops. It wouldn’t have mattered so much had it
not been a Bank Holiday thus meaning I had twice as long to wait for the next bus. It could have strained a beautiful friendship but I am forgiving by nature and it couldn’t all be blamed in Fergie. I had to take some responsibility for myself.
Every day I take myself to the hospital where Mr B is a most reluctant patient. I’m not allowed to see him, even for the shortest time, but visiting reception and handing
in my daily letter is the closest I can get. Thanks to Fergie, I combine my visits with long walks through the park, along the prom, up and down the pier. At this rate I should earn myself enough footwear to set up my own shoe shop.
It could be a lonely business but Fergie, my new Best Friend, is with me every step of the way...