Aliveandrunning January 9 2015 Janathon Day 9

DSC_0319 Wimpole Hall, a National Trust property, in all its glory. They keep the front aspect of the house clear of plebs, poor people, lower middle class, New Age travellers and children not attending fee paying schools. Luckily, the grounds are extensive and us parkrunners don’t have to encroach on the upper class gravel. We are allowed to run freely over the undulating park land, however, and visit the lavatories when necessary.

But tomorrow’s dream parkrun at Wimpole is now a shattered aspiration. It’s been cancelled because of the expected gales. No run, no visit to the second hand bookshop, no National Trust rock cake , jam and coffee in their cafe. At the moment Cambridge parkrun at Milton Country Park hasn’t been cancelled and a decision will probably be made tomorrow morning around 8 am.

Another 2 mile run in the dark tonight but unlike the previous couple of runs, I didn’t set out on a full stomach. It was windy, although not excessively, and very mild. I think those Scottish winds will increase during the night so the fate of Cambridge will be in the hands of the Gods.

The NHS spending on children’s mental health has fallen by more than 6% in real terms since 2010, according to official figures. This equates to nearly £50m and was disclosed by NHS England in a parliamentary question. These cuts have been made against a background of decades of chronic underfunding. Who says we live in a civilised society? Who cares, anyway. It’s not a high profile service, there’s probably not enough money in it to attract private interest and most parents will be grateful for any level of help. Let the children suffer.

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Aliveandrunning June 4 2014 Juneathon Day 4

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1. The sensible, go-through-immediately door (requiring the slightest degree of stooping) after it’s radical, no-nonsense haircut.

2. I am snapped assertively addressing a group of local residents and employing demonstrative body language to convey  I am in charge of the village. I am informing them that everyone is obliged to run 5k each day and eating chocolate products is forbidden.

3.This black hole spontaneously formed in the woods where I take Rupert the dalmatian for a walk. Spooky or what! What?

Juneathon Day 4. I took the risk of drawing the attention of the increasing number of zombies roaming around on the outskirts of our village and went for a lonely run down the course of an old Roman road called Akerman Street, now a wide grass track bounded by trees and bushes with cultivated fields behind them. The Roman gods were quiet today and I’ll attempt to commune with them on another occasion. It’s odd to consider this would have been a busy bye-way of transport, travel and commerce 1600 years ago. And now I run along it dressed like a banana. That’s progress for you!

Society in today’s Guardian has an article titled “Psychiatric support teams can save hospitals millions.” It describes how on-site psychiatric care in acute hospitals can greatly reduce, or much better manage, resources taken up by the estimated 25% of patients who have a mental illness in addition to their physical illness. Apparently, most acute hospitals are not equipped to deal with mental health disorders that come through their doors, according to a consultant psychiatrist. It was ever the same. Everyone working in general hospitals and psychiatric teams has practical experience of such problems and such a scenario will have been recognised for decades. This article seems to focus on the elderly but the same situation pertains to all ages. These well funded pilots and projects simply underline what can be achieved with appropriately applied services. No funding, no service country-wide but every so often a pilot gets some cash allocated and reinvents the wheel.   bit.ly/1ovTDiL

Aliveandrunning March 17 2014

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Following last weekend’s Cambridge half marathon when I ran a good time and then made it memorable by becoming dehydrated and requiring medical assistance (see blog dated March 10), I am now back to form. I ran with the club during the week and parkrun on the weekend. The Cambridge parkrun run director and her partner, who have bright red hair and a Mohican respectively, were stepping aside after four years. Dozens of regulars wore convincing wigs in celebration (see pic above). I think I should have spent more time finessing my coiffure. My lush Mohican came rather low and I had difficulty seeing my way around the course. I was also carrying a placard so my time was slow. Still, we had a lot of cake afterwards and everyone was very appreciative of the hard work they have put in since parkrun began in Cambridge.

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Here I am modelling my tattoo sleeves after the race. Generally I am anti tattoo but these sleeves are hardly distinguishable from the real thing (as long as they are viewed 20 metres away with sun glasses). I am now scouring the internet to acquire a whole body lycra  tattoo stocking! How cool would that be in Cambridge Central Library or a Tesco super store.

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It’s curious how many runners revere cake! Very few of them seem to worry about the sugar or fat or calorie content. Anyway, it was a very enjoyable, OTT morning.

I attended a funeral last week and had yet further proof that, all to frequently, there’s nothing less Christian than a practicing Christian. I’ve heard examples from family before and also seen it with my own eyes. The genteel, comfortable middle classes Church goers don’t seem to be able to welcome anyone who doesn’t conform to their particular norms. This is very clear when their services are attended by individuals whose behaviour may be loud or inappropriate or if they look different. They simply get ignored or sidelined or frozen out. I witnessed the good church folks in action against a women who probably has a borderline personality disorder in the reception after the funeral service. They really should have been able to accommodate her and make the effort to respond and make her feel comfortable. But they didn’t. And haven’t done on other occasions. I don’t like being around such hypocritical people. I don’t like to see such displays of prejudice and unkindness. They don’t take their own moral teachings seriously. They are self righteous nitwits!

Hot news! Scientists have found evidence of the signal left by the super-rapid expansion of space that occurred fractions of a second following the Big Bang, leading immediately to the creation of the Universe. That fraction is estimated to be a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Wow!! That’s even faster than the Tories took to start dismantling the NHS by letting the for profit companies take over services. That’s why we need health union leaders of the calibre of Bob Crow who very sadly died suddenly last week, aged 52.

Aliveandrunning2013 November 20

Out running with Cambridge and Coleridge  last night. As usual I took the road rather than track option. We did two 1.7 mile loops followed by a mile then a warm down jog back to the club. Slightly disappointed we didn’t do 3 loops as suggested initially but it was an enjoyable run in the dark along the mean streets of outer Cambridge. It goes without saying that I felt like a young demi-god effortlessly negotiating irritating obstacles like pedestrians, street furniture, cyclists and cold weather. A chum fell by the wayside, metaphorically speaking, by” pulling” his calf muscle. Not sure what this means exactly. I think it’s one step up from tweaking your calf. I guess it’s a calf strain again partially caused by insufficient rest following a previous strain. Runners,eh ! They just don’t know when to stop running.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, lives up to the mispronunciation  of his name by a Radio 4 news presenter some time ago. He calls for a “duty of candour” concerning medical care mistakes in hospital. the need to prevent cover ups and demonstrate much greater accountability and is requiring hospitals to reveal ward staffing levels. The  Tories are adept at demonizing or condemning practices and conduct which most people would agree is not acceptable but they are not willing to follow through and ask how these circumstances are created. The NHS is being not so gradually dismembered and given to for profit providers while cuts and unrealistic targets force managers to take shortcuts and massage figures. There are many sharp practices which don’t come to light but most of them will have arisen because budget holders are placed in impossible positions. Ever higher standards are sought with less money available and in the context of the NHS judged and evaluated as a for profit organisation.  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2013/nov/19/jeremy-hunt-nhs-hospitals-steve-bell

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/19/nhs-hospitals-penalties-mistakes-midstaffs-scandal-hunt

Interestingly, past and present police officers currently testifying before a parliamentary committee of MPs are revealing that crime statistics have been been altered to boost favourable performance for years. In practice this means some categories of serious crime such as rape, sexual abuse of children and domestic violence are not being investigated and therefore do not swell crime figures adversely. It’s a win-win situation for the police and the government who are able to report that crimes are down on their watch. The police, as well as the Government are a law unto themselves.

Inhttp://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/19/police-failures-rape-child-abuse-official-statistics