98% done on War and Peace

I’ve become slightly bogged down by Epilogue 2, and its historiography: never my strongest point at university, it must be said. It’s not half as fun as Epilogue 1 (which brings us up to speed with the lives of the protagonists since the end of the war). It appears to be a proto-marxist dialectic. However, I’m skimming this last bit, and I doubt any of it will actually stick with me. I shall be reading something utterly frivolous on the commute next, thus freeing up brain power to read “The Red and the Black” by Stendhal, at bedtime. I was getting a bit confused as, stylistically, the translations I’m reading of each book, are far too similar. So, for the last few nights, I’ve been reading one of the Dresden Files at bedtime. Supernatural pulp fiction with slightly gory bits, and grand fun.

We’ve had a lovely weekend away with the guide leaders. No internet, no phone signal. Peace, quiet, proper darkness, excellent excellent food, and some raucous laughter. I’ve finished a pair of socks (apart from cast off) and a pair of booties (including buttons!). I am almost at CampBlanketZero. We had a go at Free Being Me, and improving our body confidence. On trying to explain this to my mother afterwards, her two comments were “but I need makeup”, and “it’s important not to go too far the other way, and to still be neat and tidy.” The latter comment, I think, has a point. While trying to attain the body beautiful that the media presents to us is a total waste of time, effort and emotion: how many of us have felt better for a little bit of pampering? A wash and blow dry from the professionals. A manicure. Really nice healthy food, rather than something laden with fat and sugar. A session or so at the gym, or a run, or a muddy walk. New mascara or lippy. It’s about balance: the question isn’t as black and white as we might think. (now I’ve tried paying forward about body confidence, do I get my badge?). While we don’t want anyone to be obssessed with their appearance, or to make themselves ill and unhappy about it, or to miss out on doing fun things because they feel diffident about their body…at the same time, it’s important to remember that feeling good about oneself is about feeling good about everything. So, while I may not care that I look hot-and-sweaty post-run when I’m among my friends, I’d still prefer not to have my photograph taken until I’m slightly less pink and slightly less smelly! This isn’t an option when I’m racing (they just leap out at you, and then it’s out there for everyone to see you suffering!)

There was, naturally, alcohol. And cake. And we made little felt owls (photo to follow). And bird scarers. And bird feeders. And marshmallow baileys shots.

And I went for a 9 mile run up hill, down dale, through the woods and the dingly dells. And I didn’t get too lost in the process. I found myself by finding a pub (accidentally) and re-orientating my map from there. I should have realised that the compass hadn’t become confused about where north was, really. I had become confused about where I was on the map. However, this was a great improvement on last year, when I got even more lost, and didn’t have a proper map with me. I found myself far more speedily. I also saw a shetland pony, 1.5 brace pheasant (one of whom was female), squirrels, lots of dogs, bunny holes and fox poo. I have decided that I don’t want to live anywhere with a high incidence of single-track-roads-with-passing-places, as they are scary scary places, but, since I managed to reverse into a parking space with my father ‘helping’ at the end of the weekend, I am probably OK at reversing into parking spaces.  It is never fun to be reversing into a space with pa ‘helping’.

My eyelid twitch appears to have gone as a result of this nice break. Happy happy J.