Aliveandrunning2013 December 7

I’m struggling to regain my running form after my calf strain in October/November. I haven’t been doing longish training runs and my running week seems to have lost its rhythm. The barometer of success is parkrun. Not only have I failed to beat my arch rival Mike but I am being outpaced by runners who are usually behind me. Woe is me! I am at least 30 SECONDS off my normal pace for a 5K race. That’s a very long time compared with the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe 13.7 billion years ago. On the other hand it’s no time at all if you believe God did the hard work in 6 days. Time to employ a cunning plan to return to form and mop up those superfluous seconds.

The miracle of Nelson Mandela and his associates. White South Africans escaped the retribution they might have expected after decades of cruelty, murder, destruction of human rights, extreme inequality and poor health care for the black majority.

Went to hear Raymond Tallis and Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury discuss the issues concerning Science and Religion. It took place at Heffers bookshop in central Cambridge after the shop had closed. Heffers is a large general and academic bookshop and puts on regular literary events. This was the first event we had attended. There was a strong sense of being in a wonderful environment where you only had to reach out to touch a book, even when you were sitting down listening to the speakers. All manner of naughty thoughts ran through my mind. I fancied I co-owned the entire shop (I don’t mind sharing books with others), I considered moving in and I pondered Lorna’s reaction if I bought thousands of pounds of books (helpfully the shop was still open for purchases following the talk (which we enjoyed). Being a disciplined sort of chap, I pulled myself together and left quietly without causing a scene.

Into Cambridge again this afternoon. We meant to go to the “bohemian” Mill Road Winter Fayre today but didn’t get any further than a clutch of charity shops 15 minutes walk away. The large Oxfam shop has an excellent book section but their staff have a serious attitude problem. Because I have more than enough books at home I selflessly decided to browse rather than make a purchase. As I made my way out, empty handed, a sales assistant barred my way and declared I wasn’t permitted  to leave without buying several books. I looked at him incredulously and laughed in his face. Attempting to push past him at least six of his colleagues suddenly appeared out of nowhere and I instinctively knew that my high minded decision not buy anything was doomed. I finally capitulated when someone flicked my earlobe and suggested I was “frightened of books.” I chose four items, resentfully, paid up quickly and stormed out, my dignity in tatters. I won’t be going back there, thank you very much. at least until next week. I really hope their attitude improves but I suspect not.

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