Aliveandrunning October 30 2014

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This is Rupert. He’s a dalmatian. It’s a little known fact that dalmatians’ spots have the ability to change their position overnight. Sometimes they align themselves so he looks more like a zebra than a dog. He has a number of habits, one of which is particularly disconcerting. If I meet other dog walkers and we stop for  a chat in the field, he may well cock his leg up against you and pee. Generally this is hilarious unless you have the misfortune to be the recipient of his largesse. It may take several seconds for you to realise what’s going on and to react promptly ie jump out of the way. I’m considering teaching him to do it on command to people who annoy me.

Not much running going on this week. Following a jaunt to south west London on the weekend, I went down with a heavy cold. In the olden days I would have found the strength to continue running, at least for shorter distances, but now I am Mr Sensible of Cambridge. No runs for a week now. I’ll do a 5k parkrun tomorrow and I’ve got a 10k race on Sunday. If parkrun is a struggle, I won’t do the Sunday race. I’ll still go along and take some pics because us runners love to see ourselves in action.

It’s very dispiriting when the Government and the Great British Public, in the pre-election period, work hand in hand to reach out to the electorate’s  lowest common denominator. There’s clearly an insatiable need to condemn, demonise, vilify and hold in contempt those in society who have the least or whose life chances have been destroyed or sabotaged at a very early stage. At the moment politicians are falling over themselves to articulate in reasonable terms the cruelest of policies. Here’s an excellent example of a scandalous disregard for the value of human life. When the new Foreign Office minister Lady Anelay gave a written answer in the House of Lords at the beginning of the week she announced that our Government would not be supporting future search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean (designed to save drowning, abandoned, sinking illegal migrants escaping to Europe). They die in large numbers already despite rescue services but the British government feels such humanitarian acts serve only to encourage migrants to make the dangerous crossing. http://bit.ly/1tGscI7

Of course, this absence of humanity will be applauded by large numbers of UKIP voters, Tories and right wingers in general who will accept the logic behind the statement and want other swingeing cuts to go further, either aimed at immigrants or benefit claimants. But they won’t take this logic and apply it elsewhere because it would be election suicide. What about stopping treatment of liver disease, obesity, lung cancer,and  heart disease  for drinkers, over eaters, smokers and non exercisers respectively on the grounds that this medical safety net only encourages them and others to continue their damaging habits. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are the parasitical  class (again). So much for empathy and Christian values!

The travails of the Naked Rambler continue! Stephen Gough has long believed it should be a given human right to walk around naked in public. To this end he has walked the length and breadth of the UK naked and has been prosecuted and imprisoned on numerous occasions. In fact he has spent a lot of time in prison because he’s in frequent contempt of court (he simply continues to walk naked as soon as he leaves prison).   http://gu.com/p/42zcp This is just nakedness. It’s not sexual, exhibitionist or threatening. Just unusual. Prison is is cruel option to a non problem. The UKIP/Tory perspective? He’s only got himself to blame. If you let him get away with it, everybody will be at it! If only. 

Aliveandrunning June 22 2014 Juneathon Day 22

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Who is this hopelessly ice cool dude? Why, it’s me of course. I’m wearing my uber fashionable Hoohaah hoodie allocated to me by the Hoohaah organisers of a series of 10k, 10 miles and half marathons for taking part in 3 of their races. This is my first ever hoodie and it won’t be my last. I might even get myself some shades to wear rather than borrow Lorna’s pair.

I picked it up at the Hoohaah Hatfield Forest 10k this morning. The weather was glorious, albeit a tad hot for running. The course was slightly undulating, over grass and shady forest paths. I stopped at the drink station and walked for half a minute which I think was sensible (I was in sensible mode). Despite being appropriately hydrated I still felt more tired than I expected at the eighth kilometre. I ploughed on, jumping nimbly over the runners laying on their backs gasping, having succumbed  to  the heat. Given that I’ve been cruelly  forced to run every day to satisfy the bloody Juneathon criteria, I was happy with my time. But then controversy broke out big time and I wasn’t the only one sent reeling by the disclosure that the 10k course was actually 10.3k. Not having a GPS device I was unaware of this but various people with Garmins confirmed it. Several of us fainted at this news and others found solace by hiding in their hoodies and  weeping. For myself, I took it like a man and assumed a sardonic smile.

The Hoohaah series is a great addition to the increasing number of paid for runs. Well organised, well marshaled, lovely courses and friendly people putting it on.

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This is what I looked like during the run (I ran with unfolded arms, obviously). Why do I look as if I’m wearing a skirt? (I’m not). You see I have that air of quiet determination and understated strength which allowed me to storm across the finish line after 71 runners who got there first.

 

Aliveandrunning December 30

Yes, I ran for 46 minutes and 53 seconds yesterday. I ran to the river but not along it. At the point I turn around, I touch a railing as the river footpath rises onto a bridge. Failure to touch the railing would result in me falling into an alternative dimension where running is illegal and everyone has to consume a gallon of corn syrup each week by law to ensure good health. Naturally the BBC is regarded as a terrorist organisation. So you see, I have to touch the railing or I am imperilled. On the return journey, nobody gave me a friendly acknowledgement but a robin hitched a lift on my shoulder for 700 metres and gave me the latest ornithological news. He also recommended adding worms to my diet for “balance.”  “No,” I gasped,”that’s strictly for the birds.” He flew off with in a huff.

Pedestrian observation : I’ve eaten too much over Christmas and unhealthy food to boot. How to make reparations ? Shall I order a hair shirt on line or indulge in a bit of verbal flagellation ? No ! I’ll eat less and return to a healthily discriminating diet. And I will up the running until I reach such a peak of fitness and performance, it causes Usain Bolt and Mo Farah to look anxiously over their shoulders. Tomorrow I am doing the Ely New Years Eve 10K. Unfortunately the weather prospects are grim – no sun but plenty of rain, wind and cold. These conditions are not conducive for a comfortable run. I’ll do my best and explain to hundreds of my fans lining the course, that I am a below par running god now regaining his fitness. This will be received as shocking news given their belief I was infallible.

I read in the Murdoch owned Sunday Times yesterday that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is considering halving the recommended sugar consumption people should have in their diets. This is following increasing numbers of studies which conclude that sugar plays a major part in obesity and heart disease. The article predicts, predictably, “a robust response from the multi-billion pond food and drinks industry.” The manner in which our food and diet has been degraded for financial and commercial reasons  over past decades is truly shocking. Your degree of shock and awe is usually proportionate to how much interest you have shown in how food is sourced, grown and manufactured which for the large majority of people is zero. The mindset and conduct of the food and drinks industry is unlikely to be radically different to the tobacco, alcohol, armaments and pharmaceutical industries in successfully pulling the wool over our eyes. As I write, the TV sound is off but I looked up to see Rock Hudson and Patrick McGoohan each lighting up a cigarette in Ice Station Zebra (1968). It could have been worse. At least they weren’t munching Krispy Kreme doughnuts on screen.

Egregiously, I saw a Krispy Kreme delivery lorry outside my local Tesco store. I shot the driver a withering glance and my upper lip curled up in the manner of Clint Eastwood showing contempt for bad persons in the Dollar films. It had no noticeable effect because the delivery person carried on taking this dangerous foodstuff into the store. In hindsight the reason for this may have been I was 150 metres away when I executed these devastating facial movements. Must try harder.

I’ve had a few ideas about  the development of a new cult/religion. I really like the concept of karma and reincarnation. I think this idea has legs. What about MuchBetterNextTime.com ? For a fixed yearly subscription, my personal self serving  registered charity/cult/church would guarantee a return to this world in greatly enhanced circumstances compared to your previous life. No- quibble money back if not fully satisfied. How do subscribers attain this goal ? They embark on a policy of tolerance, generosity, kindness and acceptance towards others even if they wear strange clothes and live in other countries. I’ll produce the guidance and develop lots of esoteric waffle, they pay their subscriptions and accrue the benefits in this life and the next. It’s a win-win situation. I’ll also make them start running.

 

 

Aliveandrunning2013 July 22

Daytime temperatures over 30C today so I went for an early run just after 8 am. I limited the distance to 2 miles because I had an appointment at Addenbrookes Hospital to have a 24 hour heart monitor fitted  later in the morning. This was just a routine test arranged by my GP and no big deal. Walking around the hospital I was struck by the large number of obese people in wheelchairs or shuffling around or just looking disconsolate. I also visited the restaurant/cafe area to marvel at the presence of a McDonalds restaurant and view people eating junk food. That’s really thinking outside the box! I’m sure they’ll  reintroduce cigarette machines soon or grant a concession to a tobacconist. Why not? It would make sense to managers who see no contradiction in cashing in on producers of damaging nutrition at the same time  their hospital services are fighting a losing battle with the consequences of junk food consumption. It’s a bit like drug rehab premises renting pitches to dealers in their waiting/reception area.

The tabloid press headlines always provide a sobering reminder of the priorities and interests of a very sizable chunk of the populace.

The Sun : WHAT’S THE STORY, LIAM?  This is a reference to Liam Gallagher’s marriage break-up.

Daily Express : HEATWAVE TO TRIGGER FLOODS

Daily Mail : NET PORN BLOCK ON EVERY HOUSE

Daily Mirror : BRADY HOSPITAL LETS KILLERS WATCH SICK SLASHER FILMS

Daily Star : MY EVIL SEX PLOT TO WIN BIG BRUV  This is a reference to a reality show contestant and her strategy to triumph

Gawd help us!