Aliveandrunning2013 October 19

It’s hard not running. I feel more tired and physically slower, I’m eating too much and I’m mildly resentful of running buddies who have the nerve to keep on running rather than show solidarity with me and hang up their shoes until I’ve fully recovered. My calf is no longer aching or sore when pressed but the swelling persists. In three weeks, I’m registered to do the Bonfire Burn 10K. I would be able to complete it but there would be a strong chance of re-injuring my calf and setting me back further. Anyway, I’ll see how I progress overt the next fortnight. There’s an equally strong chance I’ll make the wrong decision.

We volunteered at Wimpole Estate parkrun handing out the finish tokens at the end of the race (which are then scanned alongside  a personal barcode and  appear online as a results table). The weather held and the parkland setting was as beautiful as ever. We had coffee with our friends and then we retired to the second hand bookshop where I underwent a near mystical olfactory experience. Yes, that’s right ! A smell, an odor, a fragrance. The perfume of books on wooden shelves. The scent of old fashioned libraries which only contained physical tomes. I had only taken three steps inside when my not so sensitive nostrils took me back to to my childhood and adolescence. I do know a sizeable number of book people actually sniff them as a part of a sensory experience which digital devices cannot provide. Don’t worry if you are such a person. It’s completely normal and entirely conducive to good mental health. Anyway after recovering  my poise, I bought Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and three Pelican Freud Library paperbacks, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis and The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. The Freud volumes are not difficult to read but do require a degree of concentration. However you can dip into them. Sometimes you can feel that Sigmund is talking directly to you. His cultural world and psychological insights continue to fascinate and resonate equally. There is an otherness about his writing which in these times of evidence based research is refreshing. That’s an example of the kind of reasoning which I employ to convince me to buy a book. I have an array of different justifications for various types of books or magazines. I usually succeed in making the right decision.

We’ve got a pair of tickets to see the austere looking Donna Tartt in Cambridge soon. I read The Secret History around 1992 and liked it. I’ll have to get a copy of The Goldfinch and get it signed. “Thank you, Ms Tartt. I’ll be sure to buy your next novel when it’s published in ten years’ time. By the way, have you ever thought of going blond?”

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