It was a challenge. I woke at 2am with hideous stomach cramp, took painkillers, went back to sleep, but felt at a low ebb as a result. By the time we’d made it to 10 miles, I was exhausted. So I had a gel. I should have had it before the hill, or after the hill, but not during the hill, as I promptly gave myself a stitch, and it all rather went to hell in a handcart after that. Not my fastest half marathon. Not my slowest, either, but frustrating as I knew I could do better. It was lovely running through Wembley Stadium (and, on Tuesday, I met one of the ladies who’d been playing in the brass band at the stadium!), but the rest of the route was, frankly meh. I don’t think we’ll be entering the North London Half again, even if the goodies and tech top were good. It’s not about the goodies – it’s about the route (which is why Leith Hill is definitely on the “let’s do that again!” list).
Then out to Windsor (took about two hours, with a bus diversion, another half mile jogging to get to the station on time, and a swift bit of eyelash fluttering to get out of a penalty fare at Slough Station. I’m almost forty, and yet I’m wailing that “Mum’s gonna kill me if I don’t get there on time” with a great quantity of verve and believability. I hate myself for this). We had super tea in the Christopher Wren Hotel. Gorgeous sandwiches. Gorgeous cake. Fabulous Scone. Clotted cream! Worth the epic trip.
The challenge continued through the week. Monday night we hied out to Farnham to see the financial advisor, who was lovely (I need to set up a budget spreadsheet when I feel a bit braver), and who advised us about mortgages. It took forever to get out to Farnham, and even longer to get back, and I was shattered by Tuesday.
And Tuesday was a funeral. By this point, I was feeling extremely hormonally challenged, and was profoundly grateful that my former colleagues are mad as a box of frogs (sample conversation “so, yes, that was when we were doing charlie in Downton Abbey”), and the chaps simply take turns in buying us all drinks. I had a lot of lemonade before and afterward. Tonibunny had a lovely funeral, and she will be very well missed. I’d gone because I’d worked with her husband, and because funerals are for the living. The church was full, the flowers were beautiful, the hymns were familiar, and it didn’t rain. We wore our brightest clothes, and I had a lovely hat. A sad day, an exhausting day, but not a particularly depressing day. Still. By the end of the afternoon, I was trying to use my front door keys to get out of the tube, and I still had Scouts-and-Guides to go to. We had a lovely dancer visiting for St Patricks day, and a hideously complicated craft involving dancing leprechauns. While taking patients back to the wards, we encountered a lost leprechaun leg. This was traumatic. I failed to eat a proper meal all day.
Wednesday was morris. And visiting one of my units, which needed a little moral support after a mild contretemps the week before. Oil was poured on troubled water, the Brownies had a lovely time sewing constellations, and I ate an heroic quantity of sushi afterwards. By the time I got to morris, I was an hour late, and had run out of brain. So, naturally, we did the most complicated dance last, and I nearly fell to pieces (but merely fell out of the set a couple of times). It’s a good thing I’d had a guinea-spud for supper, as I’d probably have collapsed by that point.
Thursday was a write-off. I failed to get anything right at work, and stopped trying so that I didn’t create so much chaos that the world came to an end. My minion dealt with the delicate stuff. I dealt with trying to stay awake. Bizarrely, I started to revive a bit in the evening, and we had a lovely run after I’d met another leader for moral support. It was possibly the tea and cake that did it. Or the fact that my hormones pulled their lives together….
Friday I went on a super course, then went for a Posh Quiz. I am now of the “older generation” from the organisers’ perspective. I can’t say that it helped me gain any perspective. The boorish behaviour I witnessed did not give me any hope for the future. I was variously described as “the most giving person I know” and “Margaret Thatcher reincarnate” – the latter because I marched down the stairs, looking commanding, in a royal blue dress (the same as I’d worn on Tuesday, with the same 4″ black patent stilettos, and fishnets), in a manner not seen since MT had last done that. If nothing else, I do know how to play that particular game…but I do not enjoy it, and I’m not really sure I ever did. I wanted to change the system from the inside, but, when one is dealing with real life caricatures, it’s a little tricky. The Quiz was fun, last year’s winners won, and, since they were hosts, I was asked to present the silver platter. I can’t complain too much: although some of the company wasn’t what I would have chosen, it was rather fun being fawned over a bit (there really aren’t that many women around in that particular bastion), the food was superb with lamb shank where the meat simply fell off the bone – and we were served first (being aulde phartes), and the wine and port good. A lift back to Waterloo from the Dishy Barrister made getting home vastly simpler, as I didn’t need to stagger too far in those shoes: and I encountered a literary Irish drunk on the tube. He recommended Fight Club. I recommended James Herbert’s Rats (he’s finished Silence of the Lambs, and has American Psycho in his eyes). It made for an amusing conversation while I was still several sheets to the wind – and I still think I deserve some sort of recognition for not only making it onto the Northern Line safely, but also making it onto the Northbound platform on my first attempt, and thus not ending up somewhere like Tooting…. the Dishy Barrister is the gentleman who feels that I’m the giving person – it’s a combination of guiding, doing websites for people, and volunteering. Bless. I don’t feel it makes me particularly giving. At times, I think it makes me particularly selfish.
Very small hangover this morning. Went and volunteered at parkrun. Got sticky coffee. Got a colouring book. Came home. Did supermarket shop. Got newspaper. Got sacrificial tops for tomorrow (it’s going to be COLD). Had hair done. Nearly fainted at bill. N is now cooking supper, and I think it’s virtually ready. I need to rescue the laundry. And an early night is suggested tonight.