Alive and Running March 26 2015


The Bridge of Sighs, St. John’s College, Cambridge. I had to follow the Tourist Route through the College which doesn’t allow plebs over the bridge but at other times access is granted. Possibly St. John’s has the biggest grounds of all the Cambridge colleges. It’s undeniably impressive and the Bridge of Sighs is a beautiful structure. Must go for a punt soon!

The Naked Rambler, Stephen Gough, who for years has been fighting for the right to walk about naked in public, has been refused permission to appeal against an earlier decision by the European Court of Human Rights that his repeated arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for public nudity did not breach his human rights. He is currently serving a two and a half year sentence after he walked out of prison only wearing boots and socks following a previous prison term. I presume this extreme punishment is a result of repeated contempt of court. What a sad and ridiculous situation. I don’t think this eccentric man is regarded as a threat in any shape or form other than his willful determination to walk around unclothed. Possibly the authorities feel it could start a trend, or worse, a fashion. Surely, as a caring and compassionate society, we can accommodate a few naked people walking around and not feel so disturbed by it we are compelled to lock them up. Who wants to break a butterfly on a wheel?

I remain only an intermittent runner at present. Last weekend I ran the Swavesey 5 miler although I could have taken part in the Swavesey Half Marathon. I ran it 2 minutes faster than last year which pleased me until I read in my little running log I was getting over an injury at that time. Still, I did enjoy it and the weather was kind.

Club night two nights ago. We ran 6 x 700 metres at varying paces with a recovery jog back to the start. I was the second slowest runner in a group of around 20 but we broke into small similar speed groups and it all seems to work for everyone.

I ventured into the Cambridge University Press bookshop in the Market Square, Central Cambridge this week and cast my eyes over some beautiful books with eye watering prices (available on Amazon but at no reduction in price). No purchase made but it was a close run thing. I might return naked. I suspect they wouldn’t bat an eyelid!

Finally, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, was speaking about her career and the development of the teenage brain on The Life Scientific on Radio 4. Well worth listening to via podcast or Radio 4 Listen Again.



3 thoughts on “Alive and Running March 26 2015

  1. By coincidence we were talking about nakedness in the theatre coffee room today, with particular reference to Iceland where it is customary to bathe naked in the hot pools. One person had been and done it another was planning to go but not to be naked.
    I came to the conclusion that I would be ok being naked as long as I couldn’t see anyone else looking at me! If they were looking but I couldn’t see them ok, and I could chose whether or not to look at others.
    You may be interested to note that we don’t tolerate unnecessary nakedness in our anaesthetised patients either! Both for warmth and dignity we try to keep people covered up and if for some reason large areas are exposed we do cover up ‘private’ areas unless we are actually doing a procedure there. Naked bodies are so taboo!
    I may look for the podcast on teenage brains. I’ve just read ‘how to talk so that children will listen and listen so that children will talk’. So it might be good to follow that up with some knowledge about teenage development.
    Happy reading and running ( but not at the same time)! J😀

    • Yes, considered objectively,nakedness, and the individual’s and society’s response towards it, is very interesting. So much variation in attitude in this country. I’m sure Iceland is much more sensible in this regard. Here’s an idea! Why don’t you and your colleagues follow the Women’s Institute and do a naked calendar to raise money for your equipment? To ensure it remained tasteful you could hide all your bits behind trays of surgical instruments, operating tables, cylinders etc. I know it’s been done by other groups since the WI but I’m sure you lot would be a cut above the rest. You could even take advice from Stephen Gough if you cared to visit him in what ever God forsaken prison he’s languishing in. Anyway, don’t dismiss it out of hand. I’m sure someone in your team will want to go for it.

      • Ha ha I have got such a big grin on my face imagining the reaction when I tell my colleagues fabout your suggestion! It isn’t a bad idea though! Fortunately the cost of the equipment we want to buy is coming down and the funds are going up!😊😊

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