Walking has become hard work, and now has to be limited to short distances and a very slow pace. I’m not at all used to walking slowly, so the latter actually takes some effort and attention. And when I say slow, I mean really really slow: imagine the pace you would keep if you were very reluctant to arrive wherever you’re going, just moving your feet enough to keep up the appearance of walking forward.

This afternoon I walked to the post box to mail a letter, and then to the local clinic to get a repeat prescription renewed. This should normally have taken about 20 minutes, but took me an hour. I think I walked at half my normal pace, on average, but on my way there I forgot myself and sped up for a moment – and paid for it by getting a stitch in the side (at least that’s what I think it was – with a pregnant belly it felt more like a an agonising cramp in the stomach muscles) and having my blood pressure drop through the floor, so I had to sit and wait 20 minutes at the clinic for it to recover.

Then I got home and slept 2 hours out of exhaustion, waking only once to turn to the other side.

No, walking doesn’t work well now. Cycling, however, still works perfectly well for short distances (did yesterday, at least). With hindsight it’s clear that I should have cycled to the clinic instead of walking.

I’ve been cycling throughout the whole pregnancy, both because I always cycled everywhere before I was pregnant, and because I’ve found it more comfortable and/or convenient than any of the alternatives. It’s definitely less tiring than walking and puts less strain on the back. It’s also more comfortable than sitting on a bus – bus seats give me a backache. Above all, it is far more comfortable than taking a taxi, which is what everyone has been suggesting to me (if it costs more, it must be better?). London streets are so uneven and taxis have such strong suspension that a taxi ride here feels like being on a fairground ride or a large trampoline. At the top of each bounce Blump pushes my stomach up to my throat, and at the end of the bounce s/he lands painfully on some internal organs. Not comfy at all. On the bike I can at least see each bump coming and avoid it or compensate for it, but there’s no way to do that in a taxi.

The bike is not really an option for longer distances any more (too tired afterwards) so I’ve been taking the tube for my daytime bookshopping trips etc. The tube has turned out to be a reasonably good alternative, as long as I’m not in a hurry (which I’m not) and can avoid the rush hour (which I can) – a positive surprise, on the whole.