The world has gone mad

The world may yet go sane. In the meantime, I look at my Grandmother, holding on to my father in late 1940 (she was 40 at that point) and see so many parallels. Somehow, it’s very comforting. Her smile. 

Today, we welcomed T into the Catholic Church: I am his big sister’s Godmother (despite being Church of England). There’s something comforting about liturgy, about taking part in something that’s not changed for centuries, about something that expresses love, and welcome. About vowing to renounce Evil (or Satan). About saying the same prayers. It’s one of the things I love about going to church: something I do very sporadically. Sharing the same words with so many people round the world. Hearing the comfortable words in the Common Prayer (and isn’t that the most marvellous phrase? Comfortable words): 

Come unto me all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.

Such a nice sentiment. I’m not wildly keen on the idea of justification by faith alone: deeds are just as important. Or, as The Doctor puts it “Never be cruel and never be cowardly. And if you ever are, always make amends.” Or, Wil Wheaton “Don’t be a dick.”

Ankle is healing gently. I’m sure I need to give it more rest. And I will give it a week after it’s not hurt before trying it again. I want to be able to enjoy running: and get the introspection out through my feet. 

I have an ear worm. There are worse ear worms: it’s the song of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. I like the second verse more. 

Our way is clear as we march on,

And see! Our flag on high,

Is never furled throughout the world,

For hope shall never die!

We must unite for what is right,

In friendship true and strong,

Until the earth,

In its rebirth,

Shall sing our song!

Shall sing our song!

All those who loved the true and good,

Whose promises were kept,

With humble mind, whose acts were kind,

whose honour never slept;

These were the free!

And we must be,

Prepared like them to live,

To give to all,

Both great and small,

All we can give


Today, I remember Szyja Waisbrod

He was Born in Tarnopol, and he worked in import and export. His wife was called Neta. Their son was Khaim. He was murdered, aged 57 in the ghetto in Kupczynce, because he was a Jew. Neta was 45. I don’t know how old Khaim was. They’re recorded in Yad Vashem’s database by their cousin, Lea Shteinvurztel, along with 29 other members of Lea’s family.

In 2013, Eff and I went to a lecture at the Jewish Cultural Centre, in which Professor Yehuda Bauer explained the origins of World War II in terms of Hitler’s crackpot ideology: that if they didn’t exterminate the Jews, the Nazis themselves would be killed by the international Jeiwsh-Bolshevik conspiracy. That all of Germany was permeated by this ideology owing to some very persuasive speakers. As good little Marxist Historians, we felt that he was slightly underplaying the social and economic role played in Germany’s advance to war (the good professor suggested we go back to our Engels), at the same time, the idea that, while the 6 million were being exterminated, another 29 million also died because a bunch of lunatics somehow got in charge, was perturbing.

And in the meantime, on National Holocaust Memorial Day, I light my candle, and decide to be more proactive about ensuring that it never happens again. And to keep being proactive. Regardless of how scary it is.


I don’t know what I did

But, just after I’d decided it was too cold, too dark and too damp for 4 miles last night, and had turned back after a mile, I planted awkwardly, resulting in searing mint green coloured pain across the top of my left foot, a plethora of similarly vibrant expletives, and a slightly tearful call to N to get rescued. 

Now in a revoltingly expensive taxi to the nearest minor injuries as there were slightly too many expletives for comfort this morning any time I moved it the “wrong” way. It needs strapping up. Properly. We have an A&E about a mile away, but it’s not bad enough for that, so the longer trip it is. We’re not even in the right town and the fare’s well into double figures. Fortunately they take cards. 

Driving myself not really being an option. And N had a PDR today so couldn’t WFH and drive me. And I thought I was OK, and part of me thinks this is a huge waste of resources but part of me knows that getting things properly checked is sensible and adult. 

(Update: this didn’t post when I wrote it. And I have merely sprained my ankle. But that’s it for running for about a month I reckon. Should be just about well when I go to Indianapolis…)



Kind words, chocolate, gin, slightly too much coffee in the past 24 hours (really woman? Did you not engage your brain? Anxiety is exacerbated by Clomid, and by Trump, so what on earth made you have Starbucks at 5:30pm yesterday? Other than desperation to leave the house…). These have also helped distract. Onwards. 

Better was the Women’s March in London on Saturday. We went out to represent: and it was a beautifully natured march. If a little slow to set off (we were grateful for our cooked breakfast meetup). I wore Em’s neckerchief, so she was there too. And two hats, cos my pussy hat was a bit big. I intend to reknit it on smaller needles. 

Sunday was spent celebrating my Mother’s 80th birthday. We had steak and chips, and the richest chocolate cake I have ever encountered. I am to be allowed one for my 40th birthday in 2019. 

Yesterday was spent nursing a system: it kept us guessing for several hours, which was exhausting and, dare I say, emosh when it finally succeeded in its task!. Today is a little less frenetic, but the 6:46am train was nasty. I had a seat, yes, but the gentleman next to me was occupying a goodly proportion of it. I attempted to doze (see results of too much coffee last night. Although, I suppose it powered me through 2.5 hours of Guidemin and a letter to Theresa May). Sleep was elusive on the train, despite being entirely unelusive when the alarm went off. And Clomid seems to provoke really lucid dreams towards the end of the night. So I was desperately trying to stay asleep on the way to the station. This is the problem with a sub zero 15 minute walk to the station. It has the disarming effect of waking one up. 



Another month, another fail…

Another negative test. Sigh.

It’s all very frustrating. But. I have another two months worth of Clomid (that was unnecessarily complicated – the hospital was only allowed to give me one month’s worth initially, with two more to follow. They lost the entire prescription yesterday, which meant I drove there for no reason at all at lunchtime, and had to go back again in the evening. I ran in the evening, which was cold, dark, very A-roady and my phone got so chilly it turned itself off…)

Right now, though, I am not a pleasant person to be with, and I am having an epic sulk. While waiting for my period to actually rock up.



I found those 2lbs!

So that’s OK. I’m sure everyone (all 4 of you) was on the edge of their seats wondering where I’d put them. Other items found recently include my Boye interchangeable knitting needles set: a far superior set to the Denise interchangeables, being as the needles are aluminium, and pretty colours, and the cables are finer. An heirloom quality (well, the pattern was) baby bonnet and booties have had a 6 month sojourn in South Africa and been returned to sender. The recipient never received notice that the parcel was sitting in the Post Office with a fee to pay, and I’d entirely given up hope of ever seeing them again. Bonnet and booties are now far too big for baby. He’ll get a toddler sized sweater instead, and I think bonnet and booties may be given to my Ninja Goddaughter’s Little Brother for his Christening.

I’ve been finishing things up recently. A cardigan. The bunny (seen below). Socks with toes in them (pictures will follow). I’ve resurrected a Colinette yarns scarf kit, which is the loveliest, floatiest thing, and which I was last knitting on in Prague, in August. I’ve started socks for a colleague, and I’m plotting mittens for a friend. I managed to finish 2/3 of a Mollie Makes Front Cover Kit – but I’ve lost the final 1/3. Doubtless it will show up when I’ve moved the stuffing out of the sitting room. The tree is down, the decorations ready to go in the loft. We have no main lights upstairs, but someone is apparently going to turn up today to help with that. Alongside our lovely plumber, Gordon, who’s going to fix the broken valve which has been causing the upstairs heating to go on and then randomly stay on… It’s quite nice cleaning one’s teeth by candlelight, but I shall be fairly glad when it’s over.

And somehow, despite no longer being Division Commissioner, I’ve racked up about 8 hours of volunteering with Guiding since Sunday. With another two hours tonight. I’ve not quite got all my loose ends tidied up. And then I took on an exciting project of a County Activity Day, which everyone got really quite excited about at last night’s meeting! So I feel very much more positive. Bring on the GuideMin.


This running to heart rate malarkey

Now, I’m pretty sure, you’re supposed to get a whole load more technical about this than ‘I will run most of my runs at a moderate pace, aiming to keep below 160BPM’. However, I’m pretty sure that most of the time, the medics also advise you to maintain or lose weight, and that you should do more exercise. So I’m being weird. And I miss tempo running like you would not believe. I accidentally ran 10K at lunchtime with work (with C, who is a nice slow pace, so the heart rate wasn’t an issue) so I skipped parkrun this week and just went out for a 6 mile or 2 episodes of ‘Just a Minute’ pootle today. I run slower if I listen to spoken word…

I am now, generally speaking, anything between 1 min and 2 mins/mile slower than what I consider ‘normal’. Which means that runs take longer…and I’ve more time to look at what’s going on around me, and to pay attention to the plethora of dogs that I meet while I’m out. Alas, no huskies for me today – although N met one. I met a lovely Jack Russell and a fluffy Alsatian type dog instead. And a couple of Spaniels. And a Pug who fancied joining my run. And a small toddler who was very carefully walking the dog, but wasn’t responsible enough to have a dog, so just had a lead to carry….Naaaaw.

It was nearly noon when I took the above!

Last weekend, I did both Pednor 10, and the Box Hill Knacker Cracker. I’d recommend both. I’d not recommend doing both in the same weekend, to be honest, but it did give me the excuse to really try and take it easy on the Knacker Cracker. Not that you can really take it easy with those hills. Howsoever. I pootled. I beetled on the flat. I walked when my heart rate headed up to 180BPM, and I stayed below 170 as best I could the rest of the time. I’m glad I did it, and will do it again next year. However, it did nothing for my weight-gaining abilities, and I appear to have gained then lost about 2lbs this last week or so…MORE FOOD! MORE FOOD! Feed me cake, please? I was in TK Maxx slightly earlier today. I bought Baci, as well as knives for the Guide units.

And this weekend? Yesterday was spent failing to buy 1mm bare copper wire for the hospital unit, and de-Christmas decorating the house. Today was spent having a slow run, doing Brownies Accounts preparation (I must settle down to the gift aid at some point, but need last year’s accounts first), and cutting up some truly geriatric parsnips, potatoes (they’d sprouted) and sweet potatoes (display until 25th October, apparently) to make soup (boil up with chicken stock, garam masala and ras al hanout. Puree. Add a small pot of some sort of yoghurt – possibly the geriatric soya yoghurt that’s been kicking about since before Christmas if it’s not gone off. Decant. Have for lunch. Cheap, yummy, nutritious).  I’m going to finish the sewing and knitting which I didn’t do yesterday, as we randomly went out, and supper will be lemon mushroom pasta.

ETA: OK. The soya yoghurt had most definitely had it. But I found a pot of dairy starter from November, which was perfectly fine, so I used that. From which you may gather: if it’s not actually gone off, round here, it gets used regardless of use-by date. Here. Have a crocheted bunny to distract you from my erratic housekeeping. 



Merry New Whatnot

Still eating. Still feeling less anxious: still annoyed with myself for allowing my weight to fall (even if the running was going well – those few pounds make a difference to effort required when you’re on the verge of PB territory. Perhaps. Probably not as much as I imagine).

I had yesterday off – as an extra day’s leave. And I did stuff. Got the car cleaned (it looks so much better now it’s not all green-and-mildewy on the edges), took things to the dump, to the charity shop, to the letterbox. Collected a forgotten pair of boots from the shoe menders. Went to B&Q. Failed to get my nails manicured, owing to spending so long in queues for the dump, the bank, the car wash, B&Q… Achieved some Guidemin, managed to sew the buttons onto my Ninja Goddaughter’s Gruffalo Sweater (she was given a lovely Gruffalo Sweater for Christmas. The neck band was too small – so I found the yarn used in the Sue Ryder shop, unravelled the neck band and a shoulder seam, made a placket buttonholeband, and knitted on a new neckband), started the second fingerless mitt (well. It’s actually the fourth – between Mitts 1 & 2 I had HUGE gauge changes. Mitt 3’s size matched Mitt 2 – nice and loose, and now I’m doing Mitt 4 to match Mitt 1 – slightly tighter), watched Carry On Camping, sorted out thank you presents for people, tried to diagnose what is up with the upstairs heating, which seems to turn itself on in the middle of the day for no apparent reason and slept in. Were I not on reduced running, I’d have gone for a run too. I did manage to give myself a manicure, but I’d been hoping for something a tad more professional.

Tonight. More knitting on the train – I am going to finish @aminorjourney’s socks this week (they have individual toes, which takes a bit more effort to achieve, but the effect is worth it. I also have brilliant dpns for them, which is more than I had last time I tried knitting fingered gloves, and thus it is a lot easier. Having good tools definitely helps). I do want to finish off the unfinished projects. I had hoped to do that before the end of the year, but I didn’t quite make it. Didn’t help that I had no navy embroidery thread to sew the buttons onto my cardigan…

Tomorrow: running with the work running group (nicely laid back). The plan for 2017 is one mid-week run, and one or two runs at the weekend. All, hopefully, at <160 BPM.