Poor little LK. She’s one of the few babies who reacts to her one year vaccinations (and there were four of the things!) by having mild measles. This last week has been a plethora of temperature, rash, grouchiness (so much grouchiness), extra days off work for me and generalised unhappiness. In addition to my compressed hour Thursday, I had to take Tuesday afternoon and all of Friday, as N wasn’t really able to not work – he had Disaster Recovery testing. Never mind that my entire job is essentially Disaster Recovery, he had to go to King’s Cross to sit in a windowless room while they broke stuff, and had a different sort of DR testing owing to DR testing breaking the live system. Which I guess is why you test. I digress.

LK has not been a happy bunny. I have not been a happy bunny. Between a grouchy baby and a sticky cold (this is finally on its way out – my resting heart rate is dropping again), it’s been challenging.

Emo baby was emo. And probably needs a t-shirt with ‘EMO’ written on it for days like this.

But, I keep reminding myself, this is better than the alternatives. 90% of people who are not vaccinated will get measles. 1-3 in 1000 of them will develop measles encephalitis (which, even now, has a 10-15% mortality rate). This is what killed Olivia Dahl, Roald Dahl’s daughter, when she was seven. She’s buried in the churchyard of the church N & I married in, and there’s a statue in her memory in the church. And it was all avoidable: they didn’t vaccinate in the UK back then (one year later, an effective vaccine was introduced), but they did have something in the US which worked. Olivia’s little brother, Theo, was given gamma globulin, which was effective. There wasn’t enough for Olivia and her sister as well. It’s heartbreaking.




Farnham Pilgrim Backwards

I love this half marathon. Utterly love it. Glorious views, a nice mix of surfaces to run on, lots of up, lots of down. Nothing too tricky, but the perennial potential to go flying over a tree root, which helps keep you on your toes (I didn’t fall over. I came very, very close). Cake and a brass band at the end, adequate loos, a changing room, and a rather nifty medal.

Mind you, on Saturday, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be running it – and on Sunday, I still wasn’t entirely sure it was a good idea. LK has been very caring and sharing her cold germs. Both Grandpa and I were the lucky recipients of a really sticky, snotty cold this week. She’s been reasonably chipper about it. Well, other than two outbursts of inordinate tears, which is so unlike her that, actually, I had no idea what to do. We’ve twigged it eventually – snuggle next to her on the bed, but don’t try and cuddle her as she turns into a bucking bronco. Don’t try distractions, or singing, or a bath – just let her calm down in her own time with someone nearby. Having her vaccinations, finally, this week didn’t really help.

So. Back to the race. Full of trepidation, and leaving LK playing with Daddy (and not saying ‘Goodbye’ as if she realises Mummy Is Going then chaos may well ensue), I drove off to Farnham. Parked with plenty of time to spare, hauled myself up the hill to the start wondering if this was a Good Plan or a Totally Lousy Idea. Got my number, stood in the queue for the loo, changed, dropped off my bag, rejoined the queue for the loo a second time, and made it to the start with plenty of time to spare, and an idea of simply enjoying the race. No music. Just eavesdropping on other runners. I do like a good eavesdrop.

Practical upshot – 22nd in my age category (out of 61), in the top 25% of female finishers, 5 minutes faster than the last time I ran the race in 2017, although the route was backwards this year, 5 minutes slower than in 2016, when I was at peak fitness pre-Berlin Marathon. Didn’t need a loo stop (Hurrah! This is only about the second long run since having LK which hasn’t required a loo stop!). Saw one of my Guides marshalling, which made me feel all toasty lovely.

And a rather nice ice cream at the end of it all before I drove home for cuddles.



I can haz knitting? Oh yes!

I have finally finished my MiL’s socks: started several months ago. A tricksy pattern by Cookie A called Bex, with an awful lot of twisted stitches. This pattern eats yarn – I ended up giving the socks contrast toes.

With the leftovers, I’m making myself some Froot Loop socks. Much simpler. Perfect commuting knitting. The repeat was memorised after the first round, and they’re whizzing along.

I’m also happily faffing with some Sashiko stitching. Much simpler than the various samplers I’ve been doing. Embroidery is a Good Way to fill in those moments at work where I’m waiting 3 minutes for a process to complete, and if I go onto something else, I’m likely to fail to go back to check the process. A surprising amount of running stitch (or any other stitch) is possible in those minutes. I managed two embroidered pictures for LK’s birthday between returning to work in April and her birthday in July. All in snatches of time.

Running wise – it’s been so up and down. So many runs in the middle of the day, when it’s boiling hot, and my strength feels utterly sapped. So much inability to run at a sensible pace, as suggested by my coach. I always set off too fast for intervals. Some nice evening runs (but I need to run them before supper, not after – even if supper is at 4pm and the run is at 8pm…), although the last one got darker and darker and I had to abort my planned route along the canal in favour of the road. I did not feel safe, from the perspective of being able to see where I was going, or from the perspective of meeting someone undesirable (although, frankly, who spends their evenings lurking on a canal to see if some random female runs past? I encountered cyclists, dog walkers and pot-bestrewn fishermen having a barbecue). So the run was half a mile short, and a bit slower than I might have liked, but it did happen and the part that happened during daylight was lovely.

It’s been ages since I’ve been outside after dark. Normally we’re in bed by about 9.30pm. LK likes an early start. Although this week she’s preferred to sleep in until 6.30am.