So I actually made it to parkrun

And, I got round in a fairly respectable (i.e. not my slowest on this course) 27:32. With negative splits!

 This, however, was apparently as much effort as my sub-25 min achievements across the summer of 2016, and I was totally unable to continue with my initial plan of running 8 miles total on Saturday (1 mile to parkrun, 3 miles at parkrun, then 3 miles along the canal and 1 mile home again). I did try – but my legs were not up for it. So I went out on Sunday instead (which meant eschewing my lie-in, but did mean I got 6 miles in the bag before getting on a train at 10:38 and going to Northolt to help sew up a wedding present blanket).

However, the effort involved in this run tells me that I need to pull myself together a bit if I’m going to enjoy the Midsummer Munro half. I need a couple of speedwork sessions. I need to push myself rather than bimbling. I need to get some of my fitness back, as it’s evidently lacking. Between running less, sprains, colds, work trips – well. I have finally hit 100 miles run this year. Last year I’d managed that by the end of January. Losing most of February was something I did not need. Hey ho. It happens.

N, on the other hand, has been storming along (after a brief panic with a niggly knee – turns out his muscles had locked up round it rather than anything truly ghastly like a torn meniscus or ACL). He is absolutely set for Boston on Monday. It won’t be a PB course (too much hill). But he will not disgrace himself in his eyes, and I hope he will enjoy it. Last night, he came to GOSH Scouts and Guides with me, and we talked about running marathons. We’ve hopefully inspired the three kids who were there – I did talk a lot about that brilliant feeling you get at the end of a marathon (because, let’s face it, if it goes reasonably well, you do end up with an impressive high). They tried on his medals. And they made him a poster that I can flap as he goes past. I have *no* idea where I’m going to stand…and I’m not looking forward to the wait for him to go past. I’ve only gone to support him at a couple of races where I’ve not been running myself, and it’s a truly ghastly experience. I worry so hard, and so much, that I just spend the entire time feeling faintly sick. Boston seems to have the added worry that it’s such an iconic race, it was bombed a few of years ago, and thus has strict security (runners cannot wear camelbaks, for example) for runners and spectators.  I need to acquire a small bag for the essentials (phone, wallet, ID).  After Boston, we’re having a bijou holiday. I’m very much looking forward to this – actually being off work for more than a week. Last time that happened I was too busy recovering from the endometriosis surgery to enjoy myself.

On that note, we had one of those immensely frustrating trips to the hospital. The type where you wait for 45 minutes with no explanation (and the display screen is insistent that no-one is running late). You’re seen by yet another new doctor, who does not apologise for the wait, who blatently has not read the notes, who cannot get your age correct in the notes she’s writing, who tells you that the blood test done in January suggests that you are ovulating (woo hoo. The OTC test told me that), and to keep going for another 2 cycles with the Clomid. Having had to be told that you’re in cycle 4 already. Why this could not have been done by telephone, I know not? Would have saved everyone a lot of time.  Come back in 8 weeks, presumably to get a referral letter for private IVF. Because, remember, you’re too old for NHS IVF in this area. Go home. Eat the last of the birthday cake. Sulk because you weigh 9 stone now…

Otherwise: I have been massively involved in organising a STEM Day for the County Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section in May. We have over 175 girls signed up for this, it’s going to be utterly wonderful and completely terrifying. I’ve just ordered the badges. It’s the same weekend as the Kensington Dollshouse Fair – which means I’m going to miss that, which is a shame, as I’ve finally managed to get the lights working in the dollshouse (20 years after I got it. Honestly. It’s old enough to have its own mortgage.) and I am keen to sort out the fireplaces, but I want to actually see what I’m buying. Having the biggest dollshouse fair close enough to visit on public transport is lovely: and this is quite frustrating.

There has been some knitting. A pair of socks going badly. A sweater going better (I have just ordered some new knitting needles for that – turns out that while I do have 2 size 5 UK needles, they are not really a pair, they are horrible plastic, and I feel the situation could be improved). I’ve remembered how to tat, and I’m going to use the tatted edging I’ve been working on as part of the dedication panel for this blanket. No photos of that until after it’s been handed over in late May: I don’t think that the recipients read this blog, but, then again, weirder things have happened, and let’s not tempt fate, eh?



If you’re going to spray that second skin wound spray stuff on a particularly deep and nasty papercut on a wriggly finger (well. It was a cardboard box cut), acquired while making an anti-Brexit placard (or, indeed, any type of placard), I suggest removing all jewellery first.

One week later, and I’m still picking extremely sticky bits of plasticy stuff off my wedding ring. And it is nowhere near as satisfying as picking glue off my fingers in primary school. Nowhere near. It just does not want to come off. Which makes me worry what it did to my cut (other than help hold it together where plasters were not an option).

Meanwhile, I achieved 7 miles this morning. 9:30 min/mile, my heart rate was appalling (so much fitness lost) but a good tired feeling in my legs. I miss running properly. I don’t like this half-assed stuff. I may go out twice mid-week next week, and also a long run combined with parkrun on Saturday (I have to be in London for noon-ish Sunday. Or, rather, Northolt. And that’s quite the trek). I’m no closer to being pregnant than ever I was. It’s a bit wearing. But: I am eating Good Food, I am still exercising, and I am swallowing the appropriate vitamins.

I have since done 3 hours of guidemin. And eaten some particularly good chocolates which were part of my birthday present from my parents.


Aged Parents…

Email from Mum (so apparently not urgent, at least, not by the standards of an 80 year old). Dad’s had double vision, fell over yesterday and cut his face and chipped his tooth (never does anything by halves. Still won’t tell us why there’s a chunk out of his nose…that’s been a mystery for about 4 years now). The nurse patched him up yesterday, but, apparently, didn’t enquire about double vision (why not?).

This morning he pootled to the GP about his sciatica, told her about the double vision (amazingly, remembered to tell her about the double vision: and listened to my Mother telling him to tell her about the double vision. Because, you know, forgetful and stubborn almost-77-year old). GP packs him off to hospital in an ambulance (this happens with alarming frequency. Both parents have had at least one trip to the hospital in an ambulance from the GP in the last year or so), worrying that his blood thinning medication has caused problems, and sending him for a scan.

Mum refuses to have me go up there, but did promise to phone various neighbours, whom I am sure will go round and have a cup of coffee with her for a bit. She can’t drive to hospital (all the dizziness has meant she’s not been out on her own for over a year), but will get a taxi if required.  I’m generally persona non grata when Dad’s ill (not by choice…he just doesn’t like having me around if he’s not able to be the full protective Papa) so I’m sitting and trying not to fret.

Thing is, I’m not sure this isn’t the end of the beginning, as it were, and it’s just going to be an inexorable decline over the next couple of years. Which will suck mightily for all concerned, even if it is inevitable after 70-odd years of living life, and carousing more than is good for you.  And I’m just not quite ready for that yet.  Particularly given that there will be a requirement to be stoic and good tempered about it all. Because that, apparently, is how we roll in this family. Except when we don’t.


It was pretty out

Which made up for the incredibly slow pace. Jetlag invariably slows me down for weeks. It’s a very nice problem to have. Ignore the barbed wire. I was by the fisheries. 

We are vaguely watching the Moto3 GP. I quite like the motorbikes whizzing round like toys on a Scalextric track. Even more, I like that some of the riders at this level are female. Competing on a completely level playing field. 

I’ve spent a happy hour and a bit getting the lights in my dollshouse functional. They all now work for the first time this century. Next I shall remove bits of skirting and mark them to be sawn (want it a bit less windy outside before I do the sawing) to make space for the fireplaces I bought after fitting the skirting. And mark up the new floor for the bedroom. I’ve upgraded to wood. From polyester stick on carpet. I was given this house for my 18th birthday. And it has been ignored for too long. 


Ah yes… another year

My lovely friend Em would have been 40 this year. It’s been nearly 8 years since she died, and, cliché as it is, I won’t ever stop missing her. The only good thing about this birthday is that I can mark it in style for her. Somehow, I managed, in the space of 9 months, to be one of the top 100 volunteers at work, in terms of time volunteered to charitable causes. This means a rather nice cheque to be shared between two causes. Naturally, one will be Local Guiding, and the other will be a charity I choose with her Dear Other. Being able to do that reduced the howl quotient when I was away, in Indy, with work, and remembered her birthday. At least a day late. She’d have told me not to howl…

Two weeks plus away from home is far too long. Even if it involves the loveliness of visiting W & A in rural Illinois. And the loveliness of visiting TF&R in Chicago. And the loveliness of a really good yarn shop and gin distillery (close together but not the same place) and a curry house of surprising yumminess in Indinanapolis. It’s still too long. N looks neglected (to be fair, 3 weeks before a marathon he has lost so much weight training that he will look neglected anyhow). The house is a state. There is laundry everywhere for days afterward and it takes a wee while to get the body back into the same circadian rhythm as everyone else. 

On the plus side, F and I got to spend hours in the miniature rooms exhibition in the museum of modern art in Chicago, and we are now feeling very inspired about our dollshouses. I have worked out what I need to do to get the lights working and I have bought the necessary materials. F is knitting lace curtains. 

There were doggies and kitties to adore. I met many many puppies. I got to run a little, and gave myself dreadful asthma by exercising when it was a. -8degC and b. 30% humidity (not a good combination. Lesson learned). I saw my favourite colleagues. I learned new stuff. I actually met my boss!

I ate very well on the last few days. I snuggled a Newfie and a Pyrennees dog. I enjoyed sunshine. I swore never to fly United again. Nothing truly dreadful happened, but it wasn’t wonderful. 

And I took a few photos. 

There was some knitting. I finished one pair of socks, started a second, produced at least a metre of floofy scarf (I think that will go and live with A. It’s not really me and she thinks it’s so lovely and said so), but failed on a hat. I’m now working on squares for a joint blanket for a wedding present. This I freely admit I resent immensely. I have other things I want to knit more for closer friends. I had to go buy acrylic (it’s sparkly, from Poundland). 


I ran six miles!

The first two miles were hideous: uphill, into the wind, next to the main road (N needed an easy 6 for his marathon training). I whined a lot about lost fitness, not really having run for about a month. The rest of it was easier going (less wind, less hill) and thus I felt reasonably happy and, while I have undoubtedly lost speed, I still have stamina, or, possibly, stubbornness. 

Either way, I’m knackered in a good way now. And I will manage to sleep tonight. 

I might also have entered the Trionium Midsummer Munro half marathon as I’m going slightly batty with nothing to aim for. I’m then planning the Farnham Pilgrim half in September. Both are trail races: and thus I don’t feel the pressure to cane it, which fits with the whole trying to exercise less intensely thing. 

Meanwhile, because I’m heading over to Indianapolis and will be away from N at the crucial point ovulationwise this month, I am having a month of wine and unpasteuriswd cheese and general misbehaving.