Cambridge half looms and Spring’s nearly here (almost)

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Here’s proof winter’s nearly over. Now it gets complicated. What is the plural of crocus? Actually it’s crocuses or croci. I’ll opt for the correct Latin plural. Anyway, the aconites, snowdrops and hellebores are out and so are some daffodils. Other stuff is poking through and I’ve already cut the grass. Another week and we’ll be planting potatoes.

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It took a lot of effort to fence around the Green Minds gardening project but here’s proof the defences are working. Those wiley little rabbits have been making a concerted effort to break in by tunneling under the wire. Unfortunately for them they meet wire I have laid horizontally under the grass and can’t progress. Having limited brain power they simply move along the line rather than start digging again a little further out (or using ropes and grappling hooks).

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We found these chickens in our garden. I had a little chat with them  and they explained they were admiring the late winter flowers. However they simply admitted defeat when I asked them which came first, the chicken or the egg.

We bought some of their produce (not directly from the chickens but from their middleman/woman, the farmer). Here’s an action picture of  alien royalty choosing an egg for breakfast.

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Anyway, time to be sensible (always a struggle). The running is going okay. I gave up running every day five weeks ago because I felt too tired. In terms of mileage it wasn’t huge, often a couple of miles at a gentle pace. However, I think I needed rest days to recover. So, for me, I can do individual long runs of 6-10 miles but a rest is vital. I recently did a couple of hour runs and then followed this up with a two hour training run of 13 miles. This did make me tired although I would regard it as a good tiredness rather than one caused by stress or demands. I certainly felt much better for it.

Cambridge half marathon is a fortnight away. Today, I ran around 12 miles. The actual mileage wasn’t a problem but I struggled to get out. The light level was poor, it was cold and I possessed a minimum of motivation. I ran steadily, not swiftly and took just over two hours. I was glad to get back home.

Today is Wednesday. I’ll do parkrun on Saturday and go to the gym in the afternoon. I may do an hour’s run on Sunday and perhaps 45 minutes on Wednesday. Then parkrun and the following day is the half marathon. Or something like that. If the sun’s shining this programme won’t be problematic, if it’s a Stygian gloom I may jump into the river Cam.

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Sculptures possibly taking over.

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Janathon Day 24 The rabbits are coming…..

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The weather has turned very mild again ( in the East of England). This afternoon it reached 13C and I was wearing a tee shirt (plus a few other items) when I continued building the rabbit proof fence around the polytunnel and allotment area.  I suddenly became aware of large group of rabbits, at least twenty, about 30 metres away, who appeared to be watching me and laughing. Several of them began to jump as if on springs and must have reached a metre in height. By coincidence my fence is a metre high. Clearly I will have to keep an eye on this. If the rabbits team up with the muntjac deer, it could go from bad to worse. I had visions of the deer carrying bunnies on their backs to assist them to jump down over the other side..

I had a lie in this morning so Rupert had a late walk, I went to the Emmaus community shop, did other stuff, worked on the fence and then went for a late two mile run just before dusk instead of a long run as I had intended. Never mind, it was still a productive day. I managed to buy a sturdy six foot by three foot table in Emmaus which is perfect to use as a craft surface for screen printing, cutting stencils and tee shirt design.

The Tory party has announced plans to help Muslim women to learn English and Cameron said a £20m fund would provide classes for all women struggling with the language. He linked better or attainment of English skills with helping to prevent radicalisation. However, the coalition government severely cut funding for language classes aimed at migrant women and between 2008 and 2015  there was a £160m reduction in available funds for teaching English to this target group. This is high end deceit. The Tories specialise in it.

Janathon Day 13 Rupert is discombobulated!

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Rupert feels anxious as the strange crocodile type creature passes across the sky. I’m worried that it might eat my polytunnel. Possibly time to move back to the city, any city. It’ll be safer.

The fence I’m building, just in front of the polytunnel, is responsible for my temporary back ache. I’m having to cut a lot of wire and fix it to the bottom of the visible wire netting so about 20-25 cms  is lying horizonal but buried 12 cms. Rabbits come up to the fence and start to burrow and then meet the buried netting. They might move along and dig again with the same result but crucially they don’t move back to beyond the extent of the buried wire and dig under it. Of course they might be high IQ Cambridge rabbits in which case I will be very displeased.

BBC Radio 4 Inside Health looked at exercise and osteoarthritis and building muscle strength. The scary Scots Dr Margaret McCartney came over all gooey waxing lyrical about parkrun. There was a discussion about optimum levels of exercise and building up your level of fitness. Well worth catching on podcast.  I listened to it on a little windup radio as I worked on the fence and sometimes didn’t hear bits. I was also distracted by a line of rabbits some way off watching me and laughing!

I went running in the dark again. I’m getting to like it. I feel more tired at the end of the day but after a few minutes the tiredness recedes and my energy returns. I’ll consider going for longer runs at night locally and perhaps in Cambridge city centre.