Tuesday, 15 September 2015

This And That

Wet and chilly. The fire has been lit. The dogs and I got soaked this morning. They don't mind a drop of rain but they do object to a torrential, horizontally-driven downpour and we managed to time our walk so the heaviest rain coincided with the open stretch of field-without-much-shelter. Teddy tucked in behind me with his ears down and followed me at a dejected trot while Pop being Pop just squashed her ears flat to her head and scampered on ahead, glacing back every now and then to hurry me and Teddy along.

Ted spent half of Sunday underneath the car and is now Completely Oily as a result. The rain hasn't helped clean him at all and he's going to see Mrs Danning for a hair cut next week so I have the dilemma of do I wash him before he goes or do I not? M says, don't be ridiculous, she always gives them a bath anyway, but I think it's that old thing that women do, like cleaning your house before the house-cleaner comes....



I have my first day with the new first years later this week. I know nothing about them yet, only that the group is about fifteen strong. I've planned the first two sessions which has been an interesting exercise in itself and made me think about learning in ways I hadn't before. It's an unexpected outlet for some creativity.



M's marathon went well. 26 miles in a little over 3 hours and he wasn't hobbling about like John Wayne either. I like to run a little of the way with him towards the end. It gives me the illusion that I've actually just run a marathon myself and look remarkably fresh considering.

M took a sign that read Careful Now with him. It was a reply to his friend Richard who was going to be out on the course with one that read Down with this sort of thing (Father Ted, in case you were wondering). In the event Richard wasn't there so M held Careful Now up for my benefit as he neared the finish line. That and the fact I took off to run next to him in jeans, a coat and walking boots and with my camera banging about me probably explained the bemused look on the marshals' faces.

Next March we will head down to Devon for The Grizzly, a gnarly race along the coast that involves pebble beaches and sheer cliff faces. It's very uppy downy. A whole bunch of our mates go and we all meet up on the beach beforehand then cheer each other in at the end. There is usually weather to contend with as well as geography. Many's the time my buddy Lou and I have been forced to retreat to our favourite seafront cafe where we stare out the window at the raging howling winds, the pouring biting rain and the angry boiling seas lashing the shore while we eat cake, drink copious quantities of steaming hot chocolate with dollops of cream and catch up on news. We have, on occasion, been so snugly ensconced and so deep in gossip Important Conversational Matters, that we have almost missed our husbands finishing entirely....

There is an eight mile version called The Cub which M is threatening to enter me for encouraging me to do. Can you imagine? Honestly, my legs wobble when I finish a 5k Park Run! Although my buddy Lynn has run it, so you never know...next year's challenge, anyone? It would definitely be deserving of the jazziest shorts yet.


In Other News, I have discovered the Joys of the latest craze of colouring in books for adults. Not, sadly, as risque as they sound (M was nervous of what he might see when internet searching for adult colouring-in books). These are lovely things packed full of twisty-turny naturey type patterns. I've got new pencils which turn into paints if you add water....

 
...and spent last night colouring in various insects in the near-dark, so this morning's results looked interesting...

 
I think they are a great way of encouraging folks who may not consider themselves to be artistic to enjoy creating a picture and using colour, and for those of us who can draw but who are too lazy tired after a long day to get pad and pens out and create something new, to just enjoy the sensation of colouring. They are being marketed as stress busters and I think there may well be something in that.



I have bought some for L because he is having trouble getting to sleep. You can imagine how that spills over into everything. Apparently, it's very common at this age and is caused by the circadian rhythm which controls the release of melatonin (the hormone that lets you sleep) shifting by a few hours. I do feel sorry for teens whose body clocks are set to a pattern not shared by the rest of the world. It is extremely wearying when you can't fall asleep till 2 or 3 in the morning and then have to get up and do a full day of school the next day.

In an attempt to re-shift it back we are adhering to VERY regular bed and rise times (including and especially the weekend). You can imagine the way that has been received. It's been a wearying couple of weeks for both of us. To cheer L up I got him some chocolate, a new book and sketch pad and pencils yesterday, and to cheer myself up I got a new velvet and linen shawl.

I've had a green velvet shawl for many years. After a while it started coming apart at the seams, so this Spring with my New Found Sewing Skills I decided to bite the bullet and fix it. I took a deep breath, took it all apart, cleaned out the guff that had collected inside (no idea where all the fluff came from) and restitched it with the help of Phyllis (sewing machine in case you've forgotten). It worked! 

It is lovely as a summery/ autumny type shawl, but it isn't long enough as a winter-on-the-sofa type cover. So, brainwave, I thought: I'll get another one, take both apart and stitch them together. The new one is the opposite colour of the old one which you can see below... My only worry is when the new one arrives will I balk at unpicking both and re-stitching them in case it doesn't work and I spoil two gorgeous shawls?

 
I'll leave you with the Goldfinch who has returned to the Garden now wintery weather is a-coming...



...and wish you all a Peaceful Week with Plenty Of Sleep,

CT :o)

33 comments:

  1. I have been stuck in that torrential downpour with my Jack. Jack does the same as Pop and hurries along ahead and is tugging on the leash.....like - hurry up Mummy....can't you feel the rain. ha,ha
    I think you could train starting now and do that race. I really think you could do it but you know you have to train your body to accomplish it. I think that would be fun. I like the idea of the Cafe with your buddy too, eh. ha,ha
    Now you will have to show us your effort of joining the two shawls when finished.
    I have heard of the adult colouring books and also seen them at the book store I go to in the city. Some are very interesting and your imagination can play with the coloured pencils or crayons. Kinda cool actually. Hope all goes well with L's sleeping problem. I am sure he will grow out of it. Take care my dear and cwyl.

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    1. It may be more a question of training the mind, Lil. It surprised me how well I now run 3 miles when it seemed once it would be impossible, so I know 8 miles is doable, with the right attitude. Thank you for the encouragement, perhaps I'll think about it?
      You've taught me something new today- never heard of cwyl before :o) x

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    2. cwyl - chat with you later
      ttfn - ta ta for now
      Have a lovely day :)

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  2. We had our first taste of autumn on Sunday..wind, rain, and all round misery...a seafront cafe would have been marvellous! Speaking of which...pebble beaches,cliff faces in weather King Kear would have questioned his sanity, v cozy cafe..HELLO!
    Jane x

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    1. Yes I know, it makes us all sound like nutters, but I do like being out in wild raging weather. I run through heavy rain and floods here, there is something very empowering about it. M and I ran early one wintery morning last year in -5 temps. It was glorious! It's the 8 miles and the cliffs that put me off! xx

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  3. I do like the idea of running the last little bit of the marathon with M. And also the cafe/cake/hot chocolate thing as well. That I could do. The Cub run will only be like doing a couple of park runs won't it. I think you should give it a bash, you'll feel fantastic afterwards. Love the colouring in, I imagine it is very soothing. Someone I know did it a lot to get through a very tough time. I hope the rest of your week goes well, including meeting the First Years. No doubt they will love you. CJ xx

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    1. Next time he does one I'll call you and we can all run the last bit together. I get a wonderful feeling of smugness whenever I do that :o)

      Cub run = THREE park runs (almost) + HILLS = seriously pooped and possibly terminally broken CT at the end :o)

      Interesting about your friend using colouring to help. I have heard this too. A great and simple way of soothing the mind. And there are some really lovely patterns out there too. Have a lovely week my friend xx

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  4. Envious. I won't get round my marathon in anything less than 5.

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    1. Simon, I'd be lucky if I finished a marathon in 5 days, let alone hours! Five hours is a very respectable time :o)

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  5. Ahhh, that was a nice bountiful post. I think you could do The Cub no problem especially in the jazzy shorts!!! Those pencils are very covetable - could you give me the brand please? I can't wait to see what you end up doing with the shawls, extra heavy velvet and linen sounds so luxurious. x

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    1. Go Faster Shorts? Pencils are currently on special offer in WH Smiths £4.99 for 24 pencils. They are really nice to work with too. That shawl was my treat when I got it years back. It's one of my favourite things. Hope all's well in your house with doglet #2 :o) xx

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  6. I bought myself one of those adult colouring books and some nice new pencil crayons for our holidays. I find it quite relaxing and my mind just sort of slowed down. I wasn't thinking about anything except what colour to choose next.

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    1. I think that's it- you concentrate on what you're doing and everything else just melts away :o)

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  7. Love the Goldfinch photo. It looks such a wise and noble creature.

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  8. Love the thought of you joining your husband for the final few meters - in full walking gear too. That must take some skill! I have a colouring book, it was free with a craft mag I don't dislike it but it might perhaps become a winters evening activity. Then again I should get some pretty pencils to go with it instead of the cheap felt tips I bought. A velvet shawl sounds wonderfully cosy I want one now - I think I shall pester Mike :D. Good luck with L's sleeping, touching lots of wood as I type (banging feet on floor) Harry seems fine. I put it down to an increased desire to play football xx

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    1. I should go in shorts next time and pretend I really have just finished 26 miles! I much prefer working with pencils than coloured pens. Black fine liners are great for outlining but you can't really beat a good pencil. I did try to find the material to make a shawl but couldn't source it. I need to encourage L to play more football. He loves it with his mates at school, but is less inclined when he's home xx

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    1. The whole book is lovely- lots of countryside themes

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  10. Lovely goldfinch photo. I bought one of those colouring books a few weeks ago (I haven't started it yet but its called Enchanted Forest or Garden?) - a good excuse to purchase some new colouring pencils :) I think they are a great idea for people like me who can't paint or draw!:)

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  11. it's been rather many years since i had a dog which didn't loathe the rain. which is unfortunate, because i'm quite fond of for going for walks in the rain...even the horizontal variety. the merest hint of drizzle has the Emma-dog gazing at me reproachfully from the doorway -- reminding me she was Neglected and Chained-In-A-Yard for the first two years of her life and how dare i suggest she brave the elements. ;) my lovely Oscar simply wouldn't budge off the sofa...he could sense rain from indoors. strangely though, he never minded the snow...

    i digress.

    those races sound quite Mad....although it's the sort of thing i used to enjoy...i ran many a cross-country race in high school in the driving rain, through knee-deep water and scrambling up wooded hillsides. i've clearly gone soft. [literally and figuratively]

    those velvet shawls sound wonderfully comfy. and the adult colouring books [why do they have to specify they're adult...they do imply a certain risque element when they say that] are really quite the rage, aren't they? i always loved colouring in....it really is very restful.

    i hope L can sort out the sleep issues.....it really is a shame that secondary schools don't shift their timetable to accommodate their inmates natural rhythms...seems to be the most sensible thing to do. in a perfect world.....*sigh*

    xo

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    1. Giggling at you being literally and figuratively soft :o) I'm only hardy because I know I can come home and get warm and dry immediately afterward :o)

      Oh I do agree about schools and the natural rhythms of their teens. Some are trialing later start dates here and low and behold have found their results improve. Trying to balance that line here at present, which isn't always easy... XX

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  12. Love the colour of your shawl! I am a colouring in fan too, great fun isn't it! xx

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    1. It's a nice, simply, soothing occupation isn't it? xx

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  13. I quite enjoyed reading how you manage to endure the "spectator" side of marathon runs! It sounds quite exhausting for you, so I'm glad you had some good company to share the experience. My son never goes to bed before we do, but then I will wake up in the wee hours of the morning for a drink, and will see the light still shining under his door! He does NOT like to be caught still awake at 2 am on a school night. Teens and sleep ... ugh what a battle.
    Wendy

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    1. I'm an old hand at these marathon malarkeys and usually take a good book along :o)
      I'm sorry you're experiencing teenage sleep upheavals too, but it is nice to know I'm not alone!

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  14. Nice post CT, great photos too. Having run several marathons myself in the past, a pat on the back to your other half for a getting around (in a good time too).

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    1. He was chuffed as it was his first one back after a two-year injury gap. I'm very proud of him.

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  15. Congratulations to M on his marathon, I'm sure the first years will enjoy you teaching them later in the week! Sarah x

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    1. Thank you my dear :o) Hoping the first years are ok... :o) x

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  16. Love the shawl. I want to stroke it! I've been colouring for years! Though I have actually seen an 'adult' colouring book 0_O

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    1. It is rather stroke worthy :o) I have also seen an adult colouring in book. There is a very rude one doing the rounds....:o) XX

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x