Book review – Simon Napier-Bell – “Ta-ra-ra-BOOM-de-ay” plus some recent incomings


I don’t seem to have read much this week, maybe because I went out one night and I’ve had quite a lot of work on, although I’ve written a post for Non-fiction November at least (I’m so enjoying taking part in this themed reading and blogging series!). I have read a bit more yesterday and today though and finished this one. And the last books I read were for NetGalley and I like to keep those ones free of random book acquisition chat, so see below for some incomings e-book and tree-book …

Simon Napier-Bell – “Ta-ra-ra-BOOM-de-ay”

(22 May 2018)

Almost the last of my May 2018 massive book haul from Foyles, which did include three books on music I’m having to spread out a bit. This one is subtitled “The (Dodgy) Business of Popular Music” and it’s a history of the business side of music – so publishing, record labels, promoters and managers – although it was a bit dispiriting to read that greed and payola have basically always run both the business and the choice of the songs we hear and notice. As a quote from music sociologist Dr Isaac Goldberg from the 1930s has it-

Everything we ever sing or whistle is the end result of a huge plot involving thousands of dollars and thousands of organised agents … the efforts of organised pluggery. (p. 288)

Everything has always been made as easy as possible, from simple sheet music onwards through to the non-threatening pabulum of the modern hit machine.

It’s good on the sociology behind new trends and fads, which the business kept up with until file-sharing, always edging in – for example the Tube being constructed meant people could come in from the suburbs to see shows and then buy the music, and the rise of colour TV ownership coincided with the launch of MTV. The changes in radio formats were interesting, with DJs coming in fairly late and amazing amounts of bribery going on. I did get lost in the machinations of the record labels but it’s all laid out for us.

The book was published in 2014 so streaming had not been going on long and it doesn’t cover this new development. I also noticed a few inaccuracies or oddities (Deadmau5 being spelled incorrectly; something weird about digital rights management on CDs letting viruses get into people’s computers and a claim that New Order’s “World in Motion” included the phrase “E for England” – I didn’t recall this and found it was only in the draft lyrics) which meant that I was slightly more wary of all the other assertions than I might otherwise have been. But an interesting read all told.

I had some nice book post in the last week or so. I needed to replace my lost (how?) original copy of Iris Murdoch’s “The Flight from the Enchanter” and some detective work in the IM group on Facebook found the date of the edition with the cover I had. Hooray! And my friend Zoe sent me Tayari Jones’ “An American Marriage” which she and a few other friends have read and recommended. It’s the one about a black couple where the husband suddenly gets sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit and looks really good and important.

Then I feel duty-bound to record three new wins on NetGalley. “Miss Iceland is by Audur Ava Olafsdottir, whose “Butterflies in November” I enjoyed, and takes a trip to 1960s Iceland and a life of writing and expectations. Kiley Reid’s “Such a Fun Age” is a novel of modern issues, where an online influencer’s black babysitter is confronted for having charge of her two (white) children and the mum tries to make things right when she can’t really. “Tiny Habits” by B.J. Fogg is about how we can make small changes in our lives for the positive. So quite a range there!

Oops – edited to add I also received a lovely email from the folks at the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint of Dean Street Press with three excellent looking books which will be out in January. They chose to send me D. E. Stevenson’s “Vittoria Cottage”, first in her Dering Trilogy and I bet I find myself collecting the lot, Miss Read’s “Fresh from the Country” which is a standalone story about a new schoolteacher, and Doris Langley Moore’s “Not at Home” which is a just post-WWII story about renting part of one’s home to a relative stranger …

Have you read any of these?

Non-fiction November: week three – be the expert / become the expert #NonfictionNovember #NonFicNov


In the next topic in the rather marvellous Non Fiction November, which I am enjoying very much (waves at new blogging connections) we have Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert, which is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey. The idea is to …

Share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert)

I have chosen the first and last to talk about here. Not that I know everything on everything that interests me, but my main development this last few months has been around reading more books again on experiences of people that don’t reflect my own experiences, but I found I had two books based around disability, three on immigration and three on non-white experience on the TBR, some with bibliographies, so might get swamped if I asked for more reccs (please always feel free to recommend further reading on my reviews, though!)

Be the Expert: Iceland

I’ve been to Iceland four times (including to run the Reykjavik Marathon) and I’ve been fairly obsessed with the place since I was 8. I studied Old Norse as part of my English degree and spent some time trying to learn modern Icelandic. So here are some books from my older and more recent reading which I recommend.

Four books on Iceland

W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice – “Letters from Iceland” – The two poets took a trip around Iceland in 1936 in order to write a travel book they were commissioned to do, and the result is a mix of reportage, poetry and prose with lots of misery and laughs.

Simon Armitage and Glynn Maxwell – “Moon Country: Further Reports from Iceland” – These two modern poets decided to go in the footsteps of Auden and MacNeice, making these books go well together. This was in 1994, so just before it became trendy to visit. Reportage, play scripts and poetry riff off the older writers.

Edward Hancox – “Iceland Defrosted” – The modern book on Iceland I recommend the most. Hancox spends lots of time in Iceland and has made friends there, so he gives us a partial insider’s view – it’s also very funny. The review linked to here also tells you about a great work of fiction!

Sarah Moss – “Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland” – In 2009, Moss saw an advert for a job in Iceland and shipped her family including two small children over to live there for a year. The financial crisis has hit, and she’s shocked that no one seems to want second-hand items. I have a few reservations about this book but it does give lots of detail of day-to-day living in the country.

Become the Expert

I mentioned in one of my other posts that I appear to have a lot of books on birdwatching on the TBR, given that it’s a fairly minority interest and you wouldn’t expect there to be THAT many books written about it. And this is just the books specifically about birdwatching – I’ve read Stephen Rutt’s “The Seafarers” this year, which has a lot of detail about being a birdwatcher but isn’t entirely about that, and have a few others on my TBR around rewilding which are bound to include it. But here are four books about birdwatching which I fear will make me an expert (I am already a birdwatcher, though not an expert one. We have done ‘twitching’ once, and that involved walking from Penzance to Newlyn to look for an Icelandic gull, a walk of about 15 minutes, so very mildly!

Four books on birdwatching

In order of acquisition, though I bought the bottom two on the same shopping trip, in the same shop:

Alex Horne – “Birdwatchingwatching: One Year, Two Men, Three Rules, Ten Thousand Birds” – Horne goes birdwatching with his dad for a year.  He’s a comedian, so I’m expecting laughs.

Joe Harkness – “Bird Therapy” – The only Unbound campaign I’ve taken part in that’s got published, this is about the therapeutic effect of watching birds. I bought this for my best friend, Emma, for her birthday, so might read it along with her.

Stephen Moss – “A Bird in the Bush: A Social History of Birdwatching” – I don’t think he’s related to Sarah Moss, although I don’t know for sure. This looks to have a historical aspect and I love the cover image – I took a similar picture on the Isles of Scilly the one time we went.

Mark Cocker – “Birders: Tales of a Tribe” – I think more about modern birding. Bill Oddie is mentioned on the front cover.

So there we go! I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts. Have I piqued your interest in Iceland? Do you know yet more books on birdwatching? (I know at least one of the bloggers I follow has read “Bird Therapy” and also did the Unbound thing).

Sedate lady running 04-10 Nov 2019 #amrunning #running


A good week though I did too many days of cardio on the trot (oops)

First of all I need to share my thoughts on Corinna Korrubel’s Wellness Journal. She very kindly provided a review copy in return for an honest review. You get a page at the front for your main goals, and then a weekly planner for your fitness, followed by a page each day for a week where you can record whatever you want to record. I chose to note down my sleep, fruit and veg portions, exercise and steps, and sometimes made a note of my positives and challenges. I found it really useful and non-judgemental – it didn’t feel “wrong” to be not noting everything down and I felt I could use it as I wanted to. Also, importantly for me, the quality of the paper was good so I could write in the journal in fountain pen!

There’s a weekly journal recap page and pages to record stats at the end, so it would be useful for all kinds of wellness challenges. I recommend it, my only additions would be having a place for a weekly goal and having space to write down the name of the day at the top of the page, as well as the date.  Find out more with more sample pages on Corinna’s blog here and that page also has a link where you can go through to Amazon to order.

Monday – A lovely run with Claire as I’d run on Saturday so was up for a longer one. We worked out a 5.5 mile canal route we hadn’t done before, however there was an obstacle on the way back up from the canal in the form of a very large fallen tree!

Claire among a fallen tree

Claire + tree

Of course I made Claire stand in the middle of the tree while I took my photo of the day! She’s just to the side of the actual path, and it was very muddy having got under the branch behind her.

5.5 miles, 12:54 mins per mile. 13,015 steps

Tuesday – I had to go to club run as I had two hi-viz volunteer tabards from the week before. I ran them up then ran around club run with a whole massive pack of sedate ladies – lovely fun. Jenny gave me a lift home as it was cold and dark. Tara had some lovely laces on her trainers!

Light-up shoe laces

Tara’s snazzy new laces

0.7 miles, 11:30 mins per mile / 4.00 miles, 12:52 mins per mile. 11,535 steps

Wednesday – I didn’t go to yoga as was waiting for a delivery. Managed to overlap with Matthew for 5 mins before I headed out to Spin for the first time in months. Spin was great, with OK music (soul and some pop with some Brazilian zumba-style music and arm movements. There was plenty of upper body work thrown in and it was a buzz like I don’t get from running. I will be back to this class.

5,499 steps (plus 45 mins of spin is apparently equivalent to around 9,000 steps – I think my watch counted some during the class)

Thursday – An early morning run with Jenny running through the dawn. I wore my new chest light which is lovely and bright, however I don’t seem to have taken a photo of it. But this was my fourth consecutive day of cardio and that was too much, so I peeled off and ran home the slightly long way to round things up. I had to wait in all day for a delivery that came at 6.30 (this was the one I waited in for yesterday, too, grr) so it was nice to have got out first thing.

4.3 miles, 12:14 mins per mile. 10,541 steps

Friday – I walked up to the post office to post some presents, then went on the treadmill in the gym for 15 minutes gathering steps, but my Kindle went wrong (seems OK now) so had to watch awful videos on the rubbish TVs. Made it to Claire yoga which was a lovely although quite hard class (deep squats and standing up slowly from them, yay. Goddess pose, not so yay). I had a lovely mail delivery when I got home – a couple of books (see my next book post for pics) and my kit for RED January. This is a month in aid of Mind, the mental health charity, RED stands for Run Every Day but I don’t like to do that or to encourage others to do so recklessly (readers with a streak: I know you know what you’re doing!) so I will aim again to do some activity every day, and days I don’t do something else, walk 10,000 steps. I was pleased with the buff which I ordered as well as the tshirt this year.

RED January tshirt and buff

RED January in aid of Mind

5,293 steps

Saturday – I had a trip out to be a Contributed Official for running club at the men’s cross country league in the Warwickshire country park of Burton Dassett Hills. This is a very high area, with great potential for cross country – but it was FREEZING. It was about 2 degrees (35 F) with a biting wind and heavy rain and even though I wore my hi-viz coat, I was so cold on my hands and feet. My job, which saved club from being docked 200 league points, was to give out round metal tokens with the finish position on to the runners at the end of the funnel. A colleague got batches off a spike and handed them to me but they were so cold and all stuck together. The poor runners were freezing, too. I normally have a jolly word for everyone at these events but I lost my sense of humour a bit (I was also annoyed as I have cold weather gear but wasn’t wearing enough of it!). Got back in the club tent after and someone had to open my flask and pour out my cup of tea for me!!

Runners starting

And they’re off! This gives some idea of the cold, wet misery of it all.

Some of the team and Liz

Some of the men’s cross-country team plus me in the middle in hi-viz. Photo by Tim Livesley, shared with permission.

It took me ages to thaw out when I got home!

3,013 steps (a million shivers)

Sunday – Long run Sunday and it was so sunny, although very chilly again. I met Caroline, Trudie and Mary Ellen at the end of my road and we headed up to Stirchley to get on the canal at the Cadbury Factory. We were pleased to see the Gorilla of Stirchley looking suitably festive.

Gorilla in a santa hat

The Santa Gorilla of Old Stirchley Town

Once on the canals we did the usual route heading back to the boatyard. Trudie’s husband Dave appeared running in the opposite direction (and less cold and wet than yesterday) so we got him to take a photo of us on this lovely part of the canal network.

Mary Ellen, Liz, Caroline, Trudie

Mary Ellen, Liz, Caroline, Trudie. Taken by Dave, posted with permission.

Caroline peeled off but had managed her first 10k for ages, we carried on through the woods and the fallen tree was still fallen (sorry to Trudie’s lovely new trainers, not so white after all that mud) then when we got back near home, Mary Ellen went off home. Trudie and I decided to go and visit a local war memorial, but disaster struck when she tripped on a loose paving stone and fell. Oh no! Sore hands and a bashed and scraped knee and hip so once she’d gathered herself I walked her home and then continued my run, rounding it up to 10 miles, and even with the walking, on 6-hour marathon pace so I left it as a run rather than trying to muck around with my Strava stats. Recover well, Trudie! (please wish her well in the comments if you get a moment and have read this far!).

10 miles, 13:43 mins per mile. 22,940 steps as of 17.30.

Weekly total 24.5 miles. Total this year 868.2 892.7 (I need 916.66 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total; I am still 19 miles down on last year). Total weekly steps 71,836 (I have decided that I’m OK if my weekly total is over 70,000 though will make an effort each day: I just don’t have time to march around every day!).

weekly-run-down-final-300x300The Weekly Run Down is run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kim’s weekly wrap is here and Deborah’s is here.


Book reviews – Phillipa Ashley – “A Perfect Cornish Summer” and “A Perfect Cornish Christmas” #NetGalley @AvonBooksUK


I’m reviewing these two together even though I suspect a third will come along to make up a trilogy (and hope so!) because I won “A Perfect Cornish Christmas” through NetGalley so picked up a copy of “A Perfect Cornish Summer” second-hand to read first – God forbid I read books in a series in the wrong order!

Phillipa Ashley – “A Perfect Cornish Summer”

(11 October 2019)

A nice Cornwall-set novel featuring an ensemble of characters, all in the West Penwith town of Porthallow (which I think is a sort of amalgam of Newlyn and other bits and bobs) for its Food Festival’s tenth iteration. Sam with her Stargazy Pies pie company has done well since the first festival, but then discovers a figure from her past, who tore her family apart, is returning for the festival. Gabe is coming home but has a secret. Bubbly Welsh-Chinese Chloe isn’t talking about the troubles that brought her fleeing to this small town – but she really needs to. A lovely idea to set it around the food festival and some good supporting characters: a nice, fun novel with a heart.

Phillipa Ashley – “A Perfect Cornish Christmas”

(07 October 2019)

We’re in Porthmellow again but slightly sadly we don’t really get more than a glimpse of the characters from Summer (this does make it work as a standalone; maybe having a plot arc that stretched across the books in the “Cornish Cafe” series didn’t work for people in that way, although I very much liked that). We have Ellie and Scarlett, sisters in their 30s caretaking their late aunt’s house just outside Porthmellow, whose family abruptly fractures on the Christmas Day that opens the book with Scarlett crashing into a pub that offers a welcome to the lonely at Christmas. They try to pull their lives together, though Scarlett pines for Birmingham (hooray!) and there’s a nice foraging subplot and of course romances. There’s not so much casual diversity as in the Cafe novels, which I missed, but still a good and engaging read and a nice study of a family trying to re-make itself. A few issues with it being an ARC which I hope were ironed out before publication.

Thank you for NetGalley and Avon Books for choosing me to read this in return for an honest review.


Non-fiction November: week two – pairings #NonfictionNovember


I’m enjoying taking part in Non-fiction November already, and this week I’m going to post within the actual week rather than after it! I had seen this week’s prompt before when I was considering joining in, and thought I had nothing to contribute before realising that I had an easy win for it, in fact! This week is hosted on Sarah’s Book Shelves and involves pairing up non-fiction books with fiction. Some people have posted loads of exciting pairings and I’ve been enjoying reading them, but I think other people have shared just one, as I am doing here.

I have picked two recent reads, because I read them partly in parallel and, while one covers a shorter time period than the other, I feel that they feed off each other and each adds dimensions to the other.

Bernadine Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other” looks at a whole century of Black British Culture, with characters ranging back to the part-Ethiopian mother of the oldest character in the book, a 93 year old Northumberland farmer and forward to a student millennial who’s full of all the latest theories on intersectional issued, gender and race. You can read my review on this blog here, and I have a longer but maybe less personal review up on Shiny New Books, too, here.

Clair Will’s “Lovers and Strangers” covers a wider and at the same time narrower remit. Dealing with just the first generation of immigrants immediately post-Second World War in the UK, she looks at everyone from displaced Central European citizens to the Irish population to immigrants from the Commonwealth. You can read my review from yesterday here.

So many of the themes are made clearer by each book reflecting off the other. “Lovers and Strangers” while a work of non-fiction and history, uses immigrants’ narratives of their journey and settling in the UK, sometimes told in memoir, sometimes in fiction. “Girl, Woman, Other” fleshes out people into round wholes and shows the networks of their relationships within their communities and outside them. I do recommend reading them together and I’d say both are vital reads if you want to understand more about the different people who make up our wonderfully diverse communities in the UK.

Book review – Clair Wills – “Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain” plus a new @ShinyNewBooks review out now #NonfictionNovember


A review of what I consider an absolutely vital book to read if you live in the UK and care about the history and make-up of your local community, and a quick note of a Shiny review of a book I recently reviewed on here – Bernadine Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other” – on Shiny here in slightly more detail than in my review on here, and also featuring in my next Non-Fiction November post.

Clair Wills – “Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain”

(22 May 2018, Foyles)

An excellent, powerful, readable book which studies the first wave of post-war immigration to the UK, so the Windrush generation, but also European displaced persons, Irish immigrants, returning soldiers and reunited families, and interrogates their own words, finding these in fiction, interviews, letters to the paper, broadcasts, songs and even an epic poem at all, to give their experience of “us” (I say this from a position of being 63/64 Southern English and 1/64 Spanish) rather than our experience of “them”. It goes behind the headlines and legal proceedings to paint a varied and fascinating picture of how Britain was seen and adapted to (or not) by the people who came here looking for some kind of a better life.

Wills comes from a Irish family in which her parents emigrated to the UK, and this gives her legitimacy to write about these lives and other new lives in Britain, a new kind of history where she traces, after the introduction, quite movingly highlighting the different kinds of journeys people made to get to Britain, themes of the perceived characteristics of the immigrants – sometimes encapsulating all of them, sometimes specific to a particular group – and looks across the period at that aspect and how it changes. It also somehow traces these lives and writings basically chronologically over the period, from those first bachelors to family members and women’s new spending powers, set against the backdrop of how changes in legislation and politics affected these groups of people and their interaction with more indigenous folk (though of course hardly any of us in the UK are truly indigenous if you trace us back far enough).

Wills is very good and thoughtful on the wider themes and psychologies as well as the nitty-gritty of everyday life, and both aspects are fascinating. She talks of the temporal and geographical limbo people fall into when they move somewhere they think temporarily, intending to return home, then trapped by circumstance or even finding themselves not at home in either the old country or the mother country.

The racism and fear, with touches of anger at perceived welfare tourism, not calmed by rather patronising leaflets trying to explain we all have the same motivations and aspirations, is horribly and depressingly familiar and made me think that no one has really changed and society never will (however, there were people who welcomed their new neighbours then, much as there are people like me who value our diversity now, and we probably need to cling to that).

There are some amazing and surprising statistics in the book. Did you know that half of the passengers on the Windrush had been posted in the UK during the Second World War but then returned home, only to come back to seek a better post-war life? Or that in the 1950s, almost a sixth of the entire population of the Republic of Ireland was in the UK, and a far higher proportion of the working population?

Stories of her own family are skilfully woven in, giving another layer to the story, as we meet people from broadcasters to bachelors, lovers to brothers, people who stayed in their own community, worked in their own language and wrote in their own language to activists who took the US as an example and fought for change in the wider community. Some immigrants were less visible and faded from view, and this is most true perhaps of the European displaced persons, tested for infestations and humiliated, but assimilating while trying to hold on to their own cultures. Many voices are featured and differences as well as similarities brought up and examined.

A really vital book to read, but readable as well as informative, I hasten to add, in case I’ve made it look a bit dry!

Sedate lady running 28 Oct – 03 Nov 2019 #amrunning #running


A week that got very damp and breezy and during which I ran just the minimum I like to run to keep me well. Oh well! I did my best! I also took very few photos for some reason.

Monday – A bright and lovely day: I went for two walks during the day and got my steps in.

10,310 steps.

Tuesday – I was one of the two volunteers at our running club’s club run tonight – a four-mile run with everyone doing the same route in pace groups. I was the tail runner and the lovely Rachel looked after quite a few beginners (because we have a 5k and beyond group running at the moment on Thursdays, we get them coming to beginners on a Tuesday, too). Added level of difficulty: it was half-term and we didn’t have access to the school playground so no room for warmup (I tried to get everyone to jog on the spot!) and we had to keep on some grass verges and off the path. People were in general very good, and there were fewer of us than usual – it was dark and cold and half-term. Unfortunately I ended up giving the welcome speech and notices and as I hadn’t expected to, didn’t have my notes! I covered all the bases and then set off at the back with Jenny – we had a good run round and then she gave me a lift home, as it was the Great British Bake-Off Final and I wanted to get it all watched before bedtime!

0.6 miles, 11:45 mins per mile / 3.9 miles, 13:31 mins per mile. 11,003 steps

Wednesday – Another nice bright day and I give you our local signpost (like something from Narnia, right?) in the town square, from my walk


Town square signpost

I also did Dave’s yoga class, which was a good one as ever. I am stiff though and really need to do more stretching and rolling!

7,869 steps (oops)

Thursday – I went for a run with Trudie, who was off because her husband’s a teacher (half-term again) and we decided to run to Aldi (one of the two low-price German supermarket chains we have here, Lidl is the other one) to see if we could snag any of their running kit. Both shops have what I like to call an Aisle of Delights where they sell non-grocery items on a weekly theme. Those leggings with the reflective dots that I have came from there.

Success at the Selly Oak shop

running accessories

Aldi running accessories

I bought myself a flouro buff, a black buff, a pair of flouro gloves, a flouro hat (that won’t blow off, as my cap threatens to do, and isn’t boiling hot, as my other running beanie is, so totally necessary) and a pair of socks (usefully, as I sawed through the toe of one of the ones I was wearing!). I also bought Matthew a beanie and gloves as he walks half the way home from work and isn’t always that visible.

We carried on to Cannon Hill Park but Trudie wasn’t feeling too good (she’s having a lot of stress and strain at the moment, poor thing: hope things improve soon!) so after a toilet stop and picking up some tickets for her at the arts centre, and after me taking my photo of the day …

autumn colours in the park

Autumn colours in full swing

… we parted company and I ran back up the hill and the long way home. A good run and great to snaffle some distance in the week (esp given Saturday’s wash-out).

I had to stop my watch after Aldi as I’d left it running as we wandered the aisles so recorded this in two batches.

2.7 miles, 14:08 mins per mile / 4.2 miles, 12:50 mins per mile. 15,288 steps (making up yesterday’s shortfall)

Friday – I did Claire Yoga (slow and with a lovely long meditation at the end, I was sore on Saturday from doing things properly and sloowwly) and although I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon (just to renew some prescriptions) and a walk up to the chemist to pick up my pills, I just did not have time do all that, work, hoover the house and get more steps in.

5,003 steps (rounded up by stomping up and down the stairs before going to bed!)

Saturday – Because I was marshalling on Sunday, I wanted to get a good long run in on Saturday. I arranged to meet Jenny at 9.30 for a four-mile mini-canal run and then arranged to meet Maria, my fellow Mental Health Champion at running club, to plan our short presentation at the club Awards Night at the end of the month. So it was up and breakfast early and I was out of the house at 8.20, the aim being to do five or so miles, four with Jenny and a few more to round things up, meeting Maria at 11.

As I stepped out of the house, the rain started. And got heavier and heavier. Soon there were large puddles on the pavements and roads. Some roads had water flowing down them and they weren’t that ford you all got bothered by that time! I got to half-way round my five-mile “cricket ground” route and sat in a bus shelter to message Jenny to say “Don’t do it!” It just seemed not the right thing to drag her out in the pouring rain.

wet runner in bus shelter

Portrait of a woman who has made an Error. My new buff worked well, though.

I actually quite enjoyed splashing around in the end. It was the rugby world cup so the streets were quiet. I ended up going to the park and running around for a bit and meeting Maria, who was leading the four-mile club run – I decided just to give up then and run home as I was SO WET. I took the long way round, thinking I had to make up 8.4 miles for the week, but (thanks Strava) turned out it was added up funny and I needed 8.5. I’m proud I managed to drag those miles out of myself, though. I jumped in the shower, got clean and dry and met Maria for a nice coffee, snack and catch-up, and we planned our presentation nicely.

8.4 miles, 12:07 mins per mile.  20,753 steps

Sunday – I marshalled at the National Institute for Conductive Education 10k as usual today. NICE is a wonderful institution, more about it here, and the race is run every year to raise funds (through the fees and a bake sale). I was in my usual position sending runners in two different directions depending on what lap they were on; it all went really well apart from a few loose dogs I had to warn runners about. I knew probably a sixth of the runners by name, and there were loads from local clubs. I was very proud of my lovely friend Tara, seen here resolutely and strongly pushing through, with her lovely husband Matt, who had looped back round after finishing himself to cheer her on. Tara is doing the London Marathon 2020 and I’m very much looking forward to training with her, whether or not I get in!

two runners in park

I walked to the park, to my marshalling position and back to the Institute for a cuppa and the prizegiving, before walking home; what with going out to meet friends for a coffee in the afternoon, I certainly got my steps in.

12,547 steps as of 17:30

Weekly total 19.9 miles (argh). Total this year 868.2 (see, that’s showing 20 added to my total) (I need 916.66 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total; I was about 20 miles over my October target).

weekly-run-down-final-300x300The Weekly Run Down is run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kim’s weekly wrap is here and Deborah’s is here.


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