Unusually, I went to three movies this week. The first two were largely forgettable, but this afternoon was a treat: Blindsight, a documentary about six blind Tibetan teenagers who climbed the mountain north of Everest. The views of the mountains are spectacular; the situation of the blind in Tibet, tragic. A scene at the beginning of the movie showing Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb Mt Everest, crossing an abyss on a bridge made by a ladder, terrified me. Most important, the movie was an inspiration. Those teenagers took on a staggering challenge and triumphed. It changed their lives.

The movie inspires me to work harder on a challenge of my own. Since I returned from Japan I have been very conscious of my problems with steps and with balance. Recently I went to a specialist on balance problems and was diagnosed with weakness in the muscles around my hips and thighs; probably also around my knees. She gave me some exercises and sent me to a physical therapist who gave me more exercises. I’m doing them religiously, continuing to walk miles, and I’m more than ever determined to be able conquer my fear and to climb those steps, up and down, when I return to Japan next fall.

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