Friday, 6 December 2013

An Epiphany Whilst Out Running, Lunch With The Montessori Mummies and Ted Despairs

So I've been running regularly now for a few months. It has beaten swimming in the Fitness Stakes for five reasons:
  1. When I was swimming regularly I was also Getting Colds regularly, which stopped me swimming and made me grumpy. 
  2. In giving up swimming I have also Given Up My Stalker (who doubtless has moved on to some other poor soul).
  3. I can run whenever I want to and don't need to plan it.
  4. It is free.
  5. If anyone finds the sight of you in your small running shorts humourous, you aren't forced to endure their laughter because you can Run Away.
These are all Good Reasons to run and not swim.

I had an Affirmation that this was the Right Choice Quite Unexpectedly when I was out for a run this afternoon. I've taken to running at dusk. The Gloaming has always been my favourite time of day: there is a magic about it no matter the season (although with the air turning cold as the temperature dropped away and  everything feeling sharp and clean it was especially magical tonight). To me the gloaming is a time when energy shifts as day makes way for night. It one of the "inbetween" regions, like the shore, and doorways, and stairs and midnight and mist, and that space where a forest ends and the open land begins.

The birds were rustling and calling to one-another in the hedgerows as I pounded along the lane; the sky was turning the colour of midnight blue with the stark skeletons of the now leafless trees  standing sharp against it and a crescent moon had risen, along with a Single Bright Star. And as I ran along looking at all these things, I realised something Quite Remarkable had happened: I was Actually Really Enjoying Running.

It was one of Those Moments, you know? When everything just comes together and clicks into place. I got my breathing right, my rhythm of running was right and I went the whole distance (including up a hill) without needing to stop or even feeling particularly out of breath. In fact I felt I could have gone on forever (although I didn't, because if I'd tried that I would quickly have realised how ridiculous that thought was and it would have spoilt my epiphany Considerably).

As a result, I returned home feeling refreshed, well-exercised and a teeny weeny bit smug.

The actual run was necessitated by the fact I'd had lunch with three of my Oldest And Dearest friends today. They are The Montessori Mummies, on account of the fact that we met whilst our boys were at a Montessori nursery many years ago. We've been friends ever since and generally try to meet up a few times a year (usually over lunch somewhere gorgeous) and exchange news.

Today, Debs had booked a lovely restaurant in Salisbury on the Market Square and we had a delicious meal. I had tomato and basil soup to start and a fishcake for mains. I was Extremely Restrained and had NO WINE (I know- what on earth is wrong with me?) and Kaz took the pics, because I'd forgotten my camera, much as I would forget my head at the moment were it not glued onto my neck. There is just TOO MUCH going on, and it won't calm down until we all Break Up for Crimble in a fortnight.

My fish cake. The garnish made me giggle. It looked like a tree that had withstood a hurricane, but only just

Jax's meal. More Windswept and Slightly Faded garnish.

Deb's Gorgeous-Looking Pud

Kaz's Happy Coffee

My Old Chums: The Montessori Mummies

Poppy had a trip to the V.E.T this week for her second jab. She was Extremely Worried about all the other animals and spent the entire time in the waiting room with her head buried beneath my arm. But she was a Very Good Girl Indeed in the actual surgery and didn't utter a peep when she had her jab. She was weighed, and has grown, which is great.

She is Pushing Her Luck with the whole Bed Business though- Ted now shares his bed in front of the fire with her reasonably happily, but is less than chuffed when she climbs into the smaller bed by the radiator (M: 'Why, considering we only have one and a half dogs, have we got FIVE dog beds in various strategic positions around the house?).......

'Mum- I'm A Bit Worried. It looks an awful lot like she's thinking about getting in my bed."
'MUM!. She HAS got in my bed!'
'Take her out!'
'Seriously mum, this is getting ridiculous. It's not big enough for both of us. Tell her to GET OUT OF MY BED. I was here first, after all... .'
'Right, if she won't get out then I will.....Bloody hell I don't believe it!'

On the whole he exhibits Remarkable Patience with her (more than I would I think). In the mornings we can often hear him grumbling a warning as she jumps all over his head and curls up as close to him as she can get. Ted is not a morning person.
Yesterday I discovered her lying along the length of his back chewing his ears. He was lying there with an expression of such resigned inevitability on his face that I felt he deserved a 'fish for dogs' square, which Poppy then tried to take out of his mouth. Oh, the joys of parenthood.

It's Getting Cold here and I am thinking about decorating the house with Christmas Things this weekend. J turns 18 on Tuesday and we are having her birthday this weekend because she'll be away on tues. So, prezzies and a roast with all the trimmings and a bottle of fizz tomorrow ('excellent' says L. 'Dad's taking me down the pub and buying me my first legal pint' says J. 'But you don't like beer' says I. 'Wouldn't you prefer a nice glass of wine?' 'No" says J. 'It's got to be beer. It's the law.' 'Oh' says I, and forebare from telling her that it isn't, because the two of them are looking forward to it so much. 'Can we just have a pint at home?' says L and F.)

I'll leave you with a pic of some Gorgeous Silver Birches outside the house which were set on fire by the rising sun yesterday. It was cold and frosty and initially I was confused into thinking it was raining, but the gentle pitter-patter sounds I could hear were the leaves silently drifting to earth. The frosts have more or less stripped them all now.... Winter has arrived here indeed.

Hope all are well and looking forward to a Merry Weekend.

CT x


  1. What a lovely post! It's great when something you have been doing suddenly affirms itself as The Very Right Thing, isn't it?

    And I love the food garnishes! Sometimes I wonder if chefs do these things just for a laugh or because they have gone into garnish panic mode. Balancing food on food for the sake it is hilarious!

    Please tell Ted that FBM used to lie along Phoebe's back and chew her ears, too, but she doesn't do it now because she is growing up. It won't last long.

    And finally, we bought our tree last weekend because I had an irrational fear of an imminent real tree shortage, but we can't move it inside yet because the faffing woodburner STILL hasn't been fitted. Decorating has been thusly postponed. It is very annoying. Xx

    1. It is good to feel something you do is the right thing my friend :-)

      Where would we be without ridiculous/ ironic food gestures (even if they are unintentional)? The world would contain a lot less laughter for one thing...

      I shall pass on your reassuring message to T. P was particularly manic this week but I think it had something to do with her jab as she has calmed down today- can you ask your resident expert what he thinks of my theory?

      Crimble trees- love them. Am sincerely hoping your fire gets fitted before d-day, because crimble eve passed in front of a real fire with mulled wine, wrapping, carols and a nice husband is just about the best experience XX

  2. Your meal out with your friends looks lovely- I have my eyes on that pud!
    Poor Ted look very resigned in those pictures! Congratulations to J, hope you all enjoy the celebrations and visit to the pub.
    Sarah x

    1. They are dear chums and it's always lovely to see them. Our Christmas meal out has become something of a tradition and I would miss it if it wasn't there.

      Thanks for the bd wishes- I shall pass them on, and let you know how the pub visit goes. I think J is more interested in being able to flourish an ID card if she gets challenged (and will be disappointed if she doesn't!). X

  3. Hi CT. Wonderful post I enjoyed reading it and seeing the antics of the 2 dogs. Your meal looks great and I am sure it was very tasty.

  4. Poor Ted. He is being very patient. Old friends are the best aren't they.

    1. He is indeed.

      You can't beat old friends who know you well :-)

  5. Lovely post CT - the picture of silver birches bathed in the early morning sun is just beautiful :)

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your meal - that pudding is making me feel very hungry indeed!

    I love the photos of Poppy and Ted. Ted is being very patient with her :)

    Congratulations and happy birthday to J - hope you have a lovely day celebrating tomorrow :)

    1. And the camera didn't even get the full beauty of it- it quite took my breath away.

      T deserves a medal I think! x

  6. A lovely post, CT. I don't run, but I do go for long walks. I just couldn't exercise indoors - for me it's all about being out in the countryside - just as you described so well.
    I love Ted's 'can you do something please?' expression. Harry isn't a morning dog, either. I think he'd be quite happy to be ignored until lunchtime. Then he might consider a walk.
    I love that pud - looks delicious. Glad you had a good lunch and enjoy your family celebrations this weekend!

    1. Indoor exercising is most definitely not for me either. I would miss the fresh air too much.
      Dear Ted, what a star he has been. He'll be glad to hear Harry isn't fond of mornings either!

  7. Give Ted a big hug from me for being such a good boy letting Poppy into his bed to snuggle up. Great that you are enjoying running-as you say you can just do it, rather than plan and get stalked in the process.

    1. Will do. He will appreciate it :-)

      The freedom of just going out for 10-15 mins instead of having to plan an hour or two is a revelation. And not having to run the stalker gauntlet is a relief! x


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.