Monthly Archives: June 2013

Eeek! It’s a bug

Running shoes

Running shoes

I have spent much of the last couple of weeks thinking about running, but this is still strange territory for me. It’s about 18 months since I was encouraged to go outside by Ruth Field’s book ‘Run Fat B!tch Run’ and although there have been frustrating interludes of not running due to the icy roads or muscle strain, it does now seem to be something I do.

To revive my motivation after a break I started the ‘Couch to 5k‘ programme which is thoroughly but steadily building up my fitness and stamina again. I come back in from my run feeling properly exercised but not exhausted. Also recently I’ve come across the website The Running Bug, which actually does relate all abilities. The cheery community on the forums are full of mutual encouragement and I was given a warm welcome when I signed in. The website name has made me realise that running is like a bug. It just gets into your system and whether you’re doing it or not, the run is always there at the back of your mind.

I can see now that although it’s hardly Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky, even my small achievements have a support group. There’s the lovely Alison Hannigan, a McTimoney chiropractor who every so often re-aligns my bones and helps to repair the recalcitrant muscles. And even my hairdresser – no really, he’s an Iron Man competitor and actually did the Decaman in 2012 – is a terrific source of good information about best practice in stretches and so on. The family consistently ask after my progress and that’s another factor which keeps me going – I don’t want to have to admit to lapsing back into lethargy.

So now as I make my way round my chosen 5k circuit I mentally report in and hold conversations with imaginary running buddies. I couldn’t contemplate actually running with someone else because my pace is too snail-like and the real conversation would be distinctly monosyllabic. But this week I have astonished myself by signing up for a ‘Bug Running Day’ on 8 September. At 9:30am bugs all over the country and beyond will be lacing up their trainers and heading out for 20 minutes for a real outing with virtual running mates. I know I’ll be in good company – and I still won’t have to talk to anyone.

The end of Thunder Road

pitch wristband 15 6 13It was a privilege to be at the Springsteen concert at Wembley on 15 June 2013. To share in the vastness of the venue, the phenomenal range of songs and the skill of the band. To witness the perfection of a complete and uninterrupted performance of the whole ‘Darkness on the edge of town‘ album. That’s the one where it all began for me in 1978 with melodies and lyrics which have been my constant companions ever since.

But I won’t be back again for the live circuit, it’s too frustrating trying to see when you’re standing the thronging crowd however good-natured the atmosphere, and Springsteen and his music aren’t made to be coolly observed from a distant seat – be close and be part of it or not there at all. Trying to revisit life’s experiences can only end in disappointment and there comes a time when memories must be laid to rest and left in peace.

Knowing this in my heart, I wept through the final encore – after more than three hours on stage with the E Street Band, the man alone with his guitar and harmonica and a sublime acoustic rendition of ‘Thunder Road’, surely a farewell performance just for me.

Everything in the garden’s lovely

 

Aquilegia vulgaris, puts itself about in the garden, but I think it's lovely and not at all vulgar or common

Aquilegia vulgaris, puts itself about in the garden, but I think it’s lovely and not at all vulgar or common

So the chilly grey half-term holiday ended and people went back to work, school, exams and deadlines, and lo – the sun came out and the temperatures rose and the garden is a delight.

Anything herbaceous has gone berserk, after all the rain to the roots, and the pots which I hurriedly planted up last week are raring to go.

It may be that this week is summer in the UK and as such it’s worth recording.  But in the first week of June, we can always hope that this is just the beginning.

Golden hop - grows from nothing every year to cover everything it can reach

Golden hop – grows from nothing every year to cover everything in sight

The vine returns from dormancy to life. Vinis vitifera 'Pupurea' lives up to its colouful name as the summer progresses

The vine returns from dormancy to life. Vinis vitifera ‘Pupurea’ lives up to its colouful name as the summer progresses

Hardy Geranium 'Ann Folkard', reliably vigorous and bold

Hardy Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’, reliably vigorous and bold

Pots poised for action. Cosmos and cineraria

Pots poised for action. Cosmos and cineraria

 

Enough energy to hide the weeds at this distance

Enough energy to hide the weeds at this distance

 

 

 

... but there's still an empty corner in the sun

… but there’s still an empty corner in the sun for someone