UK renamed Mordor by Johnson government as Tory-orcs run rampant

This is a pic from the top of the Tor at Glastonbury, overlooking the Somerset Levels and taken last summer when the evil Tories weren’t so blatantly evil.

The Bridge of Sighs, St. John’s College, Cambridge, taken just before the UK General Election, and prior to the onset of Perpetual Shadow Tory Rule.

With the self destruction of the Labour Party, I should be running frantically and often to contain my fear and anxiety concerning an extreme right goverment. Unfortunately I remain injured, not seriously, but sufficient to impair speed, distance and frequency. I have been doing parkrun consistently but my knee still feels uncomfortable and weak. On New Year’s Day I did two parkruns, ninety minutes apart, 5k each run. On the last kilometre of the second race my right knee felt very odd and my left calf started to hurt. For the rest of the day I could only walk stiffly and gingerly. Nevertheless, I’ll do parkrun again tomorrow and probably walk most of it.

So Brexit, xenophobia, racism and outright stupidity won the day. The Right don’t really think, they feel. They feel anger, resentment, hate contempt, fear, sentimentality and prejudice. They tend not to have any arguments. The emphasis is on keeping what they’ve got, increasing it and making sure there’s minimum sharing or redistribution, particularly to the vulnerable or economiclly unproductive.

The Left tend to have arguments and explain, often with a historical perspective and with nuance. They employ concepts like inclusiveness, empathy, fairness and a sense of community. They look outwards and are not threatened by all and sundry. I could go on but I’m watching Shrill at the moment.

Hopefully I’ll write a few more blogs before Trump causes a nuclear war.

 

 

 

A Tale Of Two Parkruns

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Here is a pic of Milton Country Park which hosts Cambridge parkrun. 341 runners turned out despite the rain and giant puddles of unknown depths. I’m sure we would be regarded as heroes or stars by people whose love of exaggeration knows no bounds. The truth is we were just ordinary guys (now regarded as a universal term referring to all sexes) doing our duty and taking no regard of personal danger.

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Here is a pic of Yeovil Montacute parkrun in South West England, hosted by the National Trust in the grounds of Montacute House, where 258 ran, including Lorna, who stayed near Glastonbury. Note the difference in the weather. Blue skies, unbroken sunshine and undoubtedly warm. They are simply runners, not heroes!

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Here’s another picture to underline the intrinsic unfairness. These are very little puddles compared with deep troughs of water straddling the narrow trail paths and the deadly swamps which edge them. Boy, did we get super muddy unlike runners at other mollycoddling parkruns.

Still, it was a good run albeit on the sticky side. My new arch rival Eric beat me by 8 seconds but I’m catching up. Neither of us are as fast as last year although we are both slowly improving. Ex arch rivals Mike and Kerry have moved well beyond me (unless I seek out those popular illegal performance enhancing drugs. I’ll have a word with the Tesco pharmacist next time I do my shopping).

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Photo by John Wilderspin

Here’s me, pursued by rabid dog, on the finishing straight. My mind is already on reading a copy of The Oracle that Lorna was bringing home from her sun drenched parkrun at Montacute.

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Can’t wait to go back to Glastonbury with Lorna and climb the Tor again.

Tomorrow, I’m running the Cambourne 10k and, unlike today, the weather looks good.

 

SHOULD I KEEP RUNNING OR BECOME A DRUID ?

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With all the drama and heightened significence of a single droplet of water falling to the floor in a tropical rain forest in the rainy season, when the volume of rain has been extreme, even for a rain forest, I resurrect this blog !

Aaahhhh……. the pull of nature and mysticism. We went to Glastonbury recently to visit the town and climb the Tor (not to attend the Festival). We like Glastonbury. There’s a feeling that the 60’s never went away, a Center Parcs for old hippies, a place where you can easily buy a magic wand and no one bats an eye lid if you wander around in cloaks, habits or pointed hats.

But prior to entering the enchanted town, we  stayed at Montacute and ran the Yeovil Montacute parkrun in the grounds of the eponymous House which is owned by the National Trust. And a very nice late Tudor country pile it was,too.

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A lovely parkland course, the weather was clement and the run director and volunteers could not have been more friendlier or welcoming. We’ll definitely be returning (when the omens are auspicious and the sun moon and stars are correctly aligned).

Forget Dubai, New York or even East London, Glastonbury is the cool destination to hang out if you are an actual or even a  closet pagan. It’s so easy to buy a wand. I spent a lot of time looking in a wand cabinet, perhaps too long and Mrs Alive and Running bought me some patchouli oil.  We ate in the vegetarian Rainbow’s End cafe, natch, and generally tried not irritate the wizards and witches by treading on their robes.

And so to the Tor!

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Magical, mysterious, steeped in spiritual history, overlooking the Somerset Levels and the Isle of Avalon, the Tor is topped by the roofless St. Michael’s Tower. The hill is associated with King Arthur, paganism, goddess worship and having a mystical positioning. It’s a beautiful mound to climb and then sit around thinking about nature worship, astral planes and magic while bracing yourself against the wind. By a wonderful coincidence (or was it pre-ordained) we arrived at the top of the Tor as 60 or 70 druids were climbing up the other side to gather for an early summer solstice celebration.They belonged to the Order of Bards, Obvates and Druids and were chatty and friendly. They were quite happy for people to watch their ceremony, respectfully take photos and ask them about their beliefs. They were down to earth (no pun intended), articulate, intelligent and sensible. We liked them.

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Yesterday, it was very warm (although not as hot as London’s 34-36c today). Instead of running with the club in the evening, I went for a 9 mile morning run before the sun got too fierce and took a large bottle of isotonic drink in a holster belt. Sensible or what? It’s coming up to 6 years since I had my heart attack and I’ve run consistently and longer distances since then. I don’t know any other runners with coronary heart disease but it would be nice to know how they are faring and their experience of taking the obligatory medication. Are there any out there in the blogosphere?