Drabness with knobs on – beyond dreigh!

dsc_1060

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.

357px-lhomme_au_doigt_alberto_giacometti

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).

photograph_of_alberto_giacometti_by_cartier_bresson

                                                             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!

 

Advertisements

Janathon Day 26 Bleakness and gales

IMG_20160126_131949504

I decided yet again not to run with the club tonight but go for a solitary long run during daylight. The sky was overcast and it was very windy. I usually love running by the river but the light was poor and there was a very strong, sustained  headwind. At times it felt like I was making little forward progress and the wind chill made me cold. As a matter of habit I run towards Cambridge (and, of course, the river Cam goes through Cambridge) but I decided to turn around and not complete the intended distance.

With the wind behind me I made better progress and decided on a footpath, which I rarely take, towards Ely, still along side the river but with open views across the fens and cultivated fields. Despite the openness, it was less windy but the dismal, grim light remained. There was nobody about and it was , bleak, bleak, bleak.

I ran up to Bottisham Lock and felt so lonely I was compelled to talk to this motorised sluice gate winding gear as I stood staring at the unyielding landscape. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t respond. I regurgitated the one joke I know. Still no response. I gave up and moved on.

Total distance : 5.76 miles

The Guardian, today, gives headline prominence to statistics obtained by the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb which reveal that deaths among mental health patients has risen by 21% over the last three years, from 1,412 to 1,713. There has also been a large increase in “serious incidents” – involving unexpected or avoidable deaths, serious harm, injury and abuse. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/26/rise-mental-health-patient-deaths-nhs-struggling-to-cope

These outcomes are linked with cuts to mental health service funding and the consequent degradation of services in the community and  hospitals and the substantial reduction in hospital beds. You’ve got to be a Tory not to care!

 

Janathon Day 14 Life imitates art in Cambridge

IMG_20160114_152154259

800px-Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942

Compare and contrast my image of urban alienation and ennui with Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) (courtesy of Wikipedia). I think Edward has the edge.

I battled the elements (bitter wind, biting rain, threatening snow and, worst of all, dull, grey light, to triumphantly enter Cambridge city centre, aided only by my bus pass and a steely sense of purpose. I transacted my business, got freezing cold and then repaired to Eat, the sandwich shop chain where I hunkered down and ate an up market tuna and cucumber baguette. It was rather squidgy (Lorna wasn’t there to throw up her hands in horror) and I made a mess but no-one noticed (obviously because they are wallowing in urban alienation etc and that kind of thing goes over their heads).

I do like Eat. It’s anonymous, unpretentious, not expensive, reasonably comfortable and I can concentrate to read, eat and drink coffee.

IMG_20160114_184625330

I then went to Cambridge Central library and saw this on display. Reader, I borrowed it! I can only fantasise about fell running locally. Cambridge is flatter than the flattest pancake.

I am managing to run each day for Janathon although 4-5 days in the week are just 2 milers. The mild winter in Eastern England has now got appreciably colder and I’m now running in trackster bottoms and a mid cold protection running jacket. It’s about 2-4c at the moment but minus centigrade temperatures will soon be upon us and I’ll wear a heavier duty cycling jacket which I keep on even when I’ve warmed up.

Alan Rickman’s death was announced today. Another very sad event. A great and entertaining actor, gone at 69.

 

 

 

 

 

Aliveandrunning Janathon January 21

cidImage_FOT4128 (2)

Day 21. Another cold day. This winter I’m wearing more layers in the morning when I’m walking Rupert in Wort’s Meadow. Suddenly and inexplicably I caught myself wearing these thermal long johns which belong to Lorna. The image of myself looking similar to Brad Pitt in Gladiator briefly vanished. I went out in T shirt, heavy fleece, a ski jacket and another substantial coat over it. Plus mittens. Unless it’s very cold (below -3C) I don’t wear a hat. I guess it was around -1C today in the morning  but in the afternoon it rose to 3 or 4C and the sun came out. The chill left me and I felt comfortably warm doing gardening in fleece and T shirt ( plus trousers, obviously).

Cambridge and Coleridge running club this evening and the temperature was down to zero. I wore tracksters, two tops, a winter running jacket and gloves. I felt so much better than in the morning. We did a number of sprints with decreasing recovery times in each of 3 sets. I enjoy sprinting because I feel acutely alive and because I can still do it. It’s very enjoyable sprinting in a group and in the middle of a Cambridge  road  underneath the street lights.

Interesting programme on BBC 1 at 10.35 pm called The Naked Rambler. He’s a former Royal Marine who undergoes long walks wearing only boots and a rucksack. He’s spent nearly 7 years in Scottish jails for continuing to defy court rulings that he should not appear naked in public. A good example of the law discrediting itself.