Janathon Day 31 Rupert, no ordinary dog


Rupert contemplates the mysterious matrix of shadows and turns away to dwell on the fragility of choice. If all roads lead to Rome, he ponders, how can I be certain of reaching home (and not Rome). This is an example of the conundrum he falls into on a regular basis. That’s why he’s known locally as Rupert the philosopher.

The end of January and the final day of Janathon. I nearly tried a short run today but decided against it. My cold hasn’t run its course and I don’t think it’s a good idea to stress my body. Instead I went for a two mile walk and completed it in twenty five minutes. I listened to the finish of one Guardian Long Read podcast and started on another. Top class journalism

I haven’t got around to totaling my Janathon runs and walks. The mileage is less than I anticipated but I did manage to do something each day. I’ll have a rest now.


Aliveandrunning January 30 2015 Janathon Day 30

DSC_0311 This is Widow’s Cottage in the village where I live and it’s having a substantial re-thatch. I believe this was originally a charity cottage built by an eighteenth century rector along with another (the adjacent Clerk’s Cottage). It’s always a joy to see a master thatcher at work, placing, cutting and fixing the wheat straw. An ancient art still going very strong today because there are still so many thatched cottages, most of them Grade 2 listed. Are there new build hatched houses? Well, yes but not in great volume.

I went for a 2 mile run today and felt almost completely running fit. I’m quite a bit slower than previously which I put down to insufficient longer runs and about 7 pounds of extra weight since early December. I note this but not with concern. Not surprisingly the way forward is –

1. Longer runs.

2. Eat less.

Tomorrow is Cambridge parkrun’s 5th birthday and 500+ are expected to attend although the weather forecast is for low temperatures, wind and possibly sleet. I’ll be very wrapped up so world wide fans need not worry.



Aliveandrunning January 19 2015 Janathon Day 19


Yesterday’s run into Cambridge from my village demonstrated the lack of priority walkers, runners  and cyclists have in the minds of planning authorities. To get to the main road into Cambridge, you have to take a long detour through another larger village. Additionally, the Park and Ride site is not accessible by foot unless you approach it by a long route through the aforementioned “larger” village. Large and sinister, some might say. And complacent with their ample stock of paths and pavements.

Went for a 2 mile run in the dark, at 5 pm, and got back to serve our evening meal. It was cold and I didn’t meet anyone. All the runners were probably poodling around a larger, sinister, complacent and ostentatious village.

What’s happening with my therapeutic gardening project? I’ve completed the planning request application forms and asked my named planning officer (who visited the site) to look over it prior to being submitted.

Picture : Jerwood Library, Trinity Hall, by the side of the Cam in Cambridge.


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 Janathon January 5

Day 5. After yesterday’s high level of social intercourse, I decided to treat myself to a lone run to the far end of my village. This carried the risk of bumping into people I know and deciding to run on thus leaving them with a feeling that I don’t love them enough to stop and chat. This only applies to non runners, of course. I ran for 26 minutes in total and it was far from incident free. My end of the village is populated by normal, reasonable people like myself. Beyond the crossroads is the other half of the village where, on the weekends, one has to look out for marauding gangs of Townswomen Guild and local interest groups who detain innocent pedestrians and press gang them into serving the cause. I easily ran past an origami club because they saw me too late but I had a close call with the campanologists, and the yoga club distracted me by striking bendy poses which I forced myself to ignore. I ran free and fast. My generous spirit attracted a large heron who flew alongside me on my return journey and scattered the shock troops hell bent on enforcing membership. The heron requested me to stop on my “safe” side of the crossroads and proceeded to lecture me on my folly in running through an area populated by zealots, knowing the dangers. Mea culpa I admitted! He flapped away, shaking his beak as if he was admonishing a wayward youngster.

This episode left me unnerved. It might explain my understandable error committed  when I prepared the evening meal. I was convinced that yellow split peas were grown up lentils but they didn’t cook like them. We had a very chewy absent-lentil wannabe dahl. I also cooked enough to feed half the village. Guess which half!