Aliveandrunning July 27 2014


Rather hot Cambridge parkrun yesterday morning. I don’t look at my basic stopwatch during the 5k because my strategy is simple! I run as fast as I can (taking into account the length of the race) with, hopefully, a little sprint at the end. I thought I was flying like the proverbial wind but this was only a mild example of self deception. In terms of running success, it was a no score draw. This is a typical response by an established runner denigrating or unfairly criticising his or her performance. It’s the equivalent of a beginner runner declining to give a self description as a runner or wearing non running clothes to indicate they are not really a runner. Why do we do it? Too competitive, too self denigrating. The reality is we are all doing very well overall no matter what our speed or times.

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10553898_10152135997412330_8359552090681176191_o (1)    Cambridge junior parkrun this morning. 97 children, aged between 4-14 successfully ran the 2k course, assisted by 26 volunteers and numerous parents/guardians. Very successful event. The children, particularly the youngest, often display sheer joy while they run. They receive huge encouragement and support from everyone around the course and it’s a very positive experience all round. Like adult parkrun, which is open to children, there are two timers at the finish line (main and backup timer). I was backup timer today and, thankfully, there were no problems Cambridge junior parkrun is a weekly event and requires a great deal of commitment and oganisation. This was the fourth race and, if the gods are smiling at us, people will continue to volunteer and make the runs happen.

I’m growing around 10 tomato plants this year. I know tomatoes need a lot of water but these are having a laugh at my expense. I think the value of the resultant tomatoes will be roughly equal to the cost of the water they are drinking. I’ll be scrutinising my water bill.

Much gardening done today. I’m trying to wrest back control from fecund nature over several areas in the garden. I frequently complain loudly about fecund nature. It’s just too fecund, innit?

Grumpiness! What a great quality! What a marvellous state of mind. How young people must envy their grumpy elders. How so? Well, the typical grumpy person is discerning, perceptive, clear sighted, and objective. The scales  fall constantly from their eyes as they recognise and articulate their often critical understanding of situations, “facts” and received wisdoms. They are able to cut through the spin, identify banality, and kick contradiction into the long grass. They don’t swallow the party line. They are independent thinkers. What a great bunch of people. It must be so rewarding living with someone possessed of such insightfulness.

Yesterday I went along to the river Cam to watch the Town Bumps, a series of eights rowing races (rowing boats seating eight). The idea is to catch the boat in front of you by “bumping ” into it and avoid being bumped by the boat behind. It’s an exciting spectacle. Yesterday should have been the final day. Unfortunately, the final day was Friday, so I missed it by a mere 24 hours! I took the top pic of this family of swans (six signets in all) who subsequently glided over to me in expectation of food. I didn’t have any but I did sing to them. It was my swan song.

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