Drabness with knobs on – beyond dreigh!


Extremely dull weekend. Grey blanket cloud, drizzle, sleet, occasional cutting winds, temperatures around zero. The poor light affects my mood so even more reason to go running.

I ran around 7.5 miles this morning. From where I live it’s  3 miles to the river Cam and I ran about 4.5 miles along the river path. Loads of runners out, mostly training for the Cambridge half marathon. After the A14 flyover a dozen or so university rowing eights were on the Cam with all their support personnel. They looked cold! I think there’s a lot of hanging around. I suppressed an urge to advise them to retire to their refectories or libraries and have a game of darts in the warm. Instead I wove a path between oars and the coachs et al and sprinted on into the gloom, my bravado unacknowledged. 25 minutes later, I met up with my own support team (Lorna) who picked me up at the Green Dragon pub. This run was an outward journey only. Oh yes, and a first tryout for my new shoes. Loads of standing water and mud on the path. They felt very good.

Yesterday the conditions were very muddy at Cambridge parkrun and trail shoes were essential. Again, very overcast and cold. I wore suitable kit to combat the weather but it was still uphill work. And that’s saying something on a totally flat course.

The pic at the top shows the Shard tower and to the right the giant chimney stack of the Tate Modern gallery. The rectangular building on the right is a recent extension, Switch House and you can see the outside viewing level just below the top. This viewing level attracted much criticism from the residents of multi million pound flats who were overlooked by the gawping proletariat determined to enjoy all aspects of the 360 degree panarama.

I have some limited sympathy. Some of the apartments  have visible blinds. But I also assume that buying such transparently open accommodation fits in with their comfort zone which includes living in a goldfish bowl. I didn’t actually see anyone moving inside or much evidence of clutter. Or books. That’s outrageous.

You can access the sandy foreshore  of the Thames when the tide is out ( not recommended when the tide is coming in). To walk along the beach feels exciting and remote and very different despite being within a few metres of the madding crowd.

Back to the Tate. We saw The Radical Eye exhibition of photograhy including Man Ray and later this month or next, we’ll see the David Hockney retrospective at Tate Britain. In May, the Alberto Giacometti retrospective opens, he of the magical elongated pointy men (and women) figures.


By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46682587

In my mid teens, I wandered around London on Saturdays and often visited Giacometti’s sculptures at the original Tate (now Tate Britain). I still find them beautiful, mystical and mesmorising (other adjectives are available).


                                                             Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1268495

Mr Giacometti moving his stuff around while munching a ticket.

The Church of England has received substantial criticism from 14 retired bishops over failure to provide leadership concerning gay relationships. It’s expected that the general assembly synod will approve a recent report from bishops in post which upholds the traditional teaching that marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman. The church insists that gay clergy must be celibate and clergy are forbidden from conducting same sex marriage services. An open letter rebukes the former bishops’ successors for marginalising the views of LGBT members of the church.

It’s these kinds of beliefs and and thinking that reveal the wilful ignorance and lack of compassion and humanity of organised, traditional religion. It doesn’t recognise healthy sexuality as a fluid spectrum or as a biological imperative. Far better to rely on a dodgy set of scriptures for guidance. God help the LGBT community.

And finally, the Tory goverment can’t help reverting to type. The nasty party abandons it’s commitment to unaccompanied refugee and migrant minors. Such a good idea to let them fend for themselves. I read a comment that the tabloids relinquished their support for the policy after pictures of teenagers benefiting from this programme were published last year appearing to show some of them as looking like young men. So it’s justified, then!


A bit of running and a London jaunt


Here I am, scything through the opposition and seconds away from passing the finishing line in a blur of speed at Cambridge parkrun..Unfortunately another 170 runners did their own bit of scything and got there before me. Still, I still think 171st has got a certain ring to it. I’m getting over a cold at this point but this 5k felt okay.



We went to Londinium on Sunday and caught part of the Cancer Research Winter Run 10k (through closed roads in central London). Very good natured run and 16,500 taking part. We’ll consider doing it next year.

We walked alongside the runners until St Pauls and then ventured off the beaten track.

dsc_0988                     dsc_0999




The old YHA building, second down from the top, is less than a 30 seconds walk from St. Pauls Cathedral. Very good value if you’re happy with YHA accommodation (£99 a night in a room sleeping 4).

These narrow streets and alleys are just situated a few metres away from St. Pauls Cathedral and were deserted.

The building below is 2 Temple Place WC2R 3BD twotempleplace.org. It’s open to the public at present because they have an exhibition ,Sussex Modernism – Retreat and Rebellion. Eric Gill sculptures, Bloomsbury group stuff and Salvador Dali’s  Mae West lips sofa.

This late Victorian mansion was built in 1895 for William Waldorf Astor, allegedly the richest man in the world at that time. It’s administered by the Bulldog Trust and is used as a prestigous venue for corporate and private entertaining. It’s well worth visiting this building when it’s open to the public (ie now) and if you go to the website  virtual tour you can see the beautiful interior. Entry and the exhibition is free. You don’t even have to prove you’re a paid up Tory or wave a copy of the Telegraph to get in.


After we left 2 Temple Place, the next stop was the Tate Modern.

The Tate Modern Gallery, which was officially opened by The Queen. The multi-million pound gallery is the largest modern art exhibition site in the world and was formerly the Bankside Power station in London (Yui Mok)

This converted power station on the bank of the river Thames is a wonderful space. We’ve now got membership to the Tate modern and the other Tate galleries. It’s a real privilege.


Here’s me talking to my cool bag and about to eat my packed lunch in a deserted family room in the bowels of the building. I can’t get better than this!

The Tate was really fun on various levels. More about this in the next blog.